37-year old Parijtha didn’t have a clue about breast cancer. For her, life is centered around the endless household chores and taking care of husband, children, in-laws, cows, hens and grape vines. As with any rural women health takes a back seat for Parijtha.
Interestingly, when Raja, our healthcare worker addressed a group of women prior to the health camp, she was genuinely keen to get herself screened.
Just on the main road of her small village - Gantiganahalli in rural Bengaluru, 25 km from Bengaluru) in a school, a health clinic is set up. Parijitha joins the increasingly large group of people, mostly women who have gathered to be seen by doctors.
Cold feet for Prajitha
Prajitha’s heart raced and her legs gave away when the nurse called out her name. “Do I have cancer? Am I going to die? What will happen to my children. Who will take care of them,” she questioned them helplessly.
But, what happened next is really incredible.
The iBreast Examination
Prajitha is welcomed by friendly female technicians in complete privacy. The technicians are fluent in local language. Prajitha feels homely and gets on the bed.
Using the iBreast device, the technician checks for any lumps in her breast. This highly sophisticated device can detect the smallest lumps. and our Prajitha is not nervous now. “The test was simple and it took only a couple of minutes,” said a relief Prajitha.
“Prajitha, you are saved! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with you. But, now I am going to teach you to a self-breast test, which you must do every three months,” says the smiling technician.
Prajitha leaves the clinic triumphantly.
In the case of any cancerous lump, the team counsels and advise the woman to undergo further tests. If it’s still a malignant lump, we regularly follow up or if surgery advised, we counsel her and facilitate the process.
For Parijatha and many women in rural villages, the health facility is far away, cold and unfamiliar. We decided to change this.
Thus was born Arogya Grama – building healthy villages.
Thus was born Arogya Grama – building healthy villages. “I walked out of the screening room as a triumphant woman. There’s no sign of cancer. Now I know the importance of regular check-ups and I will never miss."
Arogya Grama is designed to promote health and well-being among people in rural areas. It aims to prevent illness, disability an deaths due to diabetes, hypertensions, heart disease, cancer, asthma and mental illness. Additionally, we train students from schools and colleges on Life Skills to relieve them from stress due to academic pressure and conditions at home.