Cervical cancer screening centres in Gujarat

In a major boost to cervical cancer screening, RID 3060 is setting up colposcopy centres at seven ­clusters, each having 12–14 Rotary clubs, in Gujarat. Each ­centre housed at the Rotary Bhavan will have a ­colposcope, the primary device to screen and detect ­cervical cancer.

DG Nihir Dave inaugurated the first colposcopy unit at RC Bharuch Narmada Nagari in November last year. “Since then, we have conducted four screening camps in rural areas reaching out to 240 beneficiaries — 160 women in the age group of 40–60; and 80 school girls between 16 and 20,” says Yuvraj Singh, club president. He donated ₹3.5 lakh for the colposcope. Before the screening begins, Rotarian doctors hold an awareness session, “where we drive home the message of HPV vaccination for girls (9–15 years), and early detection of cervical cancer,” he says. Each centre is funded either by club donation or a CSR grant.

From L: DG Nihir Dave with his spouse Vaishali, project chair Kalpana Khandheria, RC Bharuch Narmada Nagari ­president Yuvraj Singh and secretary Amit Tapiawala at the launch of colposcopy centre.

The colposcopy centre is led by a Rotarian ­gynaecologist from the sponsoring club, as “the machine should be deftly handled to detect early lesions with vascular markings for signs of either cervical, vaginal or vulvar cancer. After identifying the right cervical spot through the ­monitor, we take a sampling for biopsy,” explains Dr Kalpana Khandheria, ­project chair and preventive ­oncologist. As a portable device, colposcope is taken around easily for screening at cancer detection camps. Early detection of cancer, “ensures the infected are totally cured with timely treatment. Rotarian gynaecologists are trained to handle the screening device.”

Each of the 12–14 clubs in the seven clusters will hold a one-day camp for early diagnosis of cervical, breast and oral cancer in the coming months. “We hope to do at least 8–10 camps in each cluster till June 30. And in the next Rotary year (2024–25), each cluster will hold at least 24 camps,” says Dr Kalpana, whose ­hospital — Dr Kalpana Kandheria ­Hospital, ­Jamnagar — has set up a Seva ­Colposcopy ­Centre under the project.

Recalling her experience, Reina Makwana (19) says, “I felt comfortable during the screening as it was a painless procedure and I got the report within a few minutes.” Sefali Vasava (42) is happy that “everything was done free of cost at the camp, including the transport to the venue.” DG Dave is confident of screening 2,000 women by July at the cluster camps being held in Bharuch, Rajkot, ­Jamnagar, Vadodara, Anand, Vapi and ­Dhuliya, North Maharashtra.

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