- Government to upgrade MNJ cancer hospital with Rs 120 crs
- 5 super specialty hospitals in the next 2 years, 4 at Hyderabad & 1 at Warangal
- Dedicated Training institute to train health workers, to screen every woman at PHC level
Hyderabad, 6th December 2021: The Guinness World Records holder, Grace Cancer Foundation (GCF), a charity organisation, working towards providing succour to cancer patients, celebrated eight glorious year of care and cure, amidst pomp and festivities with Chief Guest Shri T Harish Rao, Hon’ble Minister of Finance, Health, Medical and Family Welfare, Government of Telangana; adding zest to the momentous event, today at Hotel Daspalla. Shri Vidya Garapati, CEO, Movers.com, New Jersey, USA; Dr Kiran Avancha, Founder and CEO, Prizm Therapeutics, USA; Dr Chinnababu Sunkavalli, CEO, Grace Cancer Foundation and Dr Prameela Rani, Founder trustee, GCF; graced the occasion and multiplied the jubilation.
Shri T Harish Rao speaking on the occasion said, we all have immense respect for doctors, but Dr Chinna Babu, despite working in a corporate hospital, devotes one day of the week for serving the poor, he is committing himself to a social responsibility by going to Nizamabad every week, giving consultation to poor patients and sparing his personal time, instead of spending that time with his family or for earning more money. My appeal to all the doctors is to commit themselves to social responsibility like Dr Chinna Babu, because the poor in the society deserve empathy. Today cancer is causing immense distress to people, besides Corona. Even my family is a victim of cancer, both my parents are suffering from cancer, only the patient and his family understands the trauma involved. World over research is on to find a vaccine and cure for cancer like we have for COVID and that needs reinforced effort to reach the goal. Cancer is one of the most rapidly spreading disease. There is also some amount of negligence on the part of the people, though we are unaware of the exact causes of cancer, we need to adopt a lifestyle with regular exercise, good eating habits, reduce stress, avoid pollution and other causes. Governments should put in additional effort to curb cancer; scientists need to do more research to overwhelm this disease. In this direction Grace Cancer Foundation has done immense work in the last eight years and has spread its reach to 120 countries and is rendering services to lakhs of people, which is commendable. We can definitely combat cancer if more foundations like GCF come forward. Even our CM and Government are working towards enhancing screening camps and treatment facilities for cancer treatment of poor patients. In this direction, the Government is spending Rs 120 crs., to develop MNJ cancer hospital into a super specialty hospital and upgrading it into a 450 bedded hospital. Besides this we will be setting up five super specialty hospitals in the next two years, to treat poor for serious ailments like cancer, kidney, heart etc. Four of these hospitals will be in Hyderabad and one in Warangal. We will be spending Rs 10000 crs on healthcare in the next two years. Earlier hunger and poverty were the problems in the country, but today health is the major concern, it is impacting lower middle class and middle-class families financially, leaving no scope for recovery from it. That’s the reason the Government wants to provide poor people with corporate treatment. In cancer most importantly we require screening and early detection, that can enable us to win half the battle. Many patients are losing their lives due to lack of awareness and not seeking treatment in the initial stages of cancer. To overcome this the Telangana government has set up a dedicated Training institute to train the ASHA workers, ANMs, Staff nurses, PHC doctors, to facilitate screening of every woman at the PHC level. In every PHC women above 35-40 years will be screened, to enable early detection and to raise awareness among people. Corona has impacted the screening of non-communicable diseases, leading to their slowdown; people are also postponing surgeries, need to focus on these and ensure they don’t lead to a greater health crisis. Dr Chinna Babu is dedicating his time and effort for people and on my behalf I am contributing my one month salary to GCF.
Grace Cancer Foundation, which had a humble beginning eight years ago, initiated unprecedented outreach during the pandemic period. The reinforced vigour and commitment with which GCF worked during these trying times, positively impacted several impoverished families, earned GCF immense goodwill and a sense of purpose, says Dr Chinnababu Sunkavalli. GCF is a purpose driven non profit organisation. We envisage a future where the society is free of the burden of cancer, we want to do our bit in this mandate which is huge, even as the cancer in this country is estimated to be 14 lakhs per year. More importantly, less then 30% of them are diagnosed early, that’s where our calling is, to alleviate the burden of cancer. We pursue our vision by investing our time in four pillars, that is to prevent through Education, early detection through Screening, provide right Treatment and Rehabilitation and Cutting edge research, this becomes our mission. To accomplish our mission we conduct ourselves based on the foundational values of Care, Cure, Compassion and Commitment. Even as we are empathy driven, many seated here are touched by the GCF mission. We had a humble beginning in 2013 and since than grown multi-fold, we have touched millions of lives, the first cancer screening bus arrived in 2015, from there on there was no turning back and today we are equipped with five such buses, which goes to the unreached villages even as it brings smiles on the faces of people. We have touched 10 million lives so far with 2500 volunteers, touching 380 villages across 120 countries. Every life we touched is a great satisfaction to us. Next year we are focussing on screening one lakh lives through district wise screening. We would be focussing on HPV and HBV vaccines, because there are two cancers which can be prevented, the liver cancer and cervical cancer. We will adopt one district that will become cervical cancer free by 2030, so that no women will die of cervical cancer, that’s our goal.
Shri Ajay Misra, IAS (Retd.), Former Special Chief Secretary, Govt. of Telangana; said, GCF can be termed as local to global, though it started from Telangana, today its outreach is in more than 120 countries, in a short time. Still there is much to be done, according to Government statistics one out of five cancer patients are detected at a late stage and GCF has been earnestly working on it. In the next five years we are likely to see 12% increase in cancer cases, so the responsibility and commitment from organizations like GCF and others is immense and requires cooperation from all to combat and ensure cancer is detected at an early stage and patients are cured.
Grace Cancer Foundation was established to bridge the gap in access to early detection of Cancers and offer objective treatment pathways to rural populations. What started as a small initiative with some of the founders’ funding from their pockets has transformed into a prodigious movement today.
Grace Cancer Foundation backed by more than 3000+ active volunteers with a global reach in 120 countries spread over six continents, has till date touched over 10 million lives. Today GCF commands the support of 83 NGOs, who played a critical role in its mission. GCF has brought in several innovative initiatives including multiplying its reach in the remotest locations through 5 well equipped mobile screening buses and will deploy a GCF designed novel Tele Screening application, for remote rural health screening. To mitigate the suffering of homeless during the pandemic, GCF established Project Ashray, a COVID care facility.
Its Global awareness drives through cancer run with participants from 120 countries, has won it laurels from every nook and corner of the world and earned the prestigious Guinness World Records in October 2020. GCF was recognized by Guinness on two counts of accruing ‘Most live viewers for a female health awareness lesson on YouTube as part of Cancer Awareness Drive’ and for ‘Most videos of people running/ jogging uploaded to Facebook in one hour as part of Cancer Awareness Drive’, which incidentally had over 5000 videos uploaded in support of the awareness.
The all-round acclaim and enormous goodwill are propelling Grace Cancer Foundation to set higher goals. We will screen one lakh people for Non-Communicable Diseases and make a difference to them in the coming year, says Dr Chinnababu Sunkavalli.
Grace Cancer Foundation is not resting on its laurels, the achievements only inspire and energise us to reach out for bigger tasks. GCF is set to expand its operations into North America, Africa and Australia in the coming years. We will be leveraging technology in a big way to multiply our effort and reach the unreached sections of population across the globe, by relying on Block Chain Technology and other such smart and tech savvy options, says Dr Prameela Rani.