From March to December 2019, Aaroogya screened for breast cancer, tracked the progress of screened patients, and conducted health care trainings for local women in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, at the Ayushman Bharat wellness center. After Aaroogya Research Fellows conducted a preliminary anthropological study to understand the population’s lifestyles, history, and occurrence of cancers in women in this particular topography, a team of doctors to execute early cancer detection in the region. Aaroogya’s telehealth meetings and unique screening model allowed our teams to produce on-the-spot results for those screened. The Aaroogya team then conducted on-the-ground, real-time surveys, while also conducting breast, cervical and oral cancer awareness sessions.
During these awareness sessions—Aaroogya’s primary avenue for secondary prevention—1,000 local women were trained to be frontline health educators, and would henceforth be capable of educating and acting on the key issues of nutrition, sanitation, hygiene, general health, and cancer in their region. Beneficiaries were also sensitized on issues of menstrual health and cleanliness in order to reduce infections caused by poor menstrual hygiene practices, learnt the process for proper breast and cervical cancer screening and self-examination, and were educated on the importance and protocol for follow up mobilization of higher risk breast cancer patients to nearby health care facilities.