Mumbai: Mr. Amitabh Bachchan, the ‘Shehenshah’ of Bollywood launched the World’s FIRST mobile App on ‘ABC of Breast Health’ at an event organised by Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation @ JW Marriott Hotel in Juhu. Both iOs & Android versions of the App which are available in Apple & Google Play Store for FREE download, aims to empower the nation about every aspect of Breast cancer & Benign non cancer Breast health issues in 12 Languages (English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Bengali, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Oriya & Assamese).
During his Chief Guest’s address, Mr. Bachchan said, “I deem it a great honour to have been invited to launch the World’s First Mobile App on ‘ABC of Breast Health’ in English and 11 other commonly spoken Indian languages that has been conceived, designed and created by Dr. Raghu Ram on behalf of Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation. I am impressed with Dr. Raghu Ram not only for all his achievements in the Medical Sphere, but also his pioneering efforts to empower people across the Country about importance of early detection of breast cancer through a number of innovative initiatives over the past decade. The opportunity to raise quality of life & Healthcare through digitalisation is on the cusp of a third wave of IT adoption. It seems that ‘now’ is the time for us to go all in, on Digital strategies. Understanding what patients want from Digital Healthcare & best way to give it to them is vital and can help pave the way. I am very happy to be part of this initiative that aims to empower the Nation about various aspects of Breast Health making people better prepared to make informed decisions.”
Whilst highlighting salient points relating to this Mobile App, Dr. P. Raghu Ram, Padma Shri awardee, CEO & Director of Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation, said, “I was inspired by Shri. Narendra Modi’s Digital India campaign, which was launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister in July 2015 a couple of months after being conferred the Padma award. Over the past one and half years, I have been working with missionary zeal to fulfill my vision of making available this World’s FIRST landmark App using Digital Media, which has been transcribed in all the commonly spoken Indian languages in simple ‘easy to understand’ format. There is a specific section on ‘Myths & Facts’ that aims to demystify the common misconceptions relating to various Breast health issues, which would be sent on a daily basis to those who download the App. In addition, the App gives unrestricted access to all issues of PINK CONNEXION – South Asia’s First quarterly Breast health Newsletter published by Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation and a couple of Breast cancer awareness films made by the Foundation.”
“I recently submitted a proposal to Ministry of Health, Govt. of India to consider incorporating the App in Govt of India’s Health portal for empowering people on a larger scale all over the Country. This is under consideration, and in the fullness of time, I am confident that people across the Nation would be empowered about every aspect of Breast Health (Breast cancer and Benign non cancer Breast Health issues), thus filling a huge void in the delivery of Breast Health Care in India,” added Dr. Raghu Ram
Mrs. Pamela Yash Chopra, Patron of Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation and a breast cancer ‘conqueror’, said, “I have watched Dr. Raghu Ram’s innovative initiatives focused on Breast cancer advocacy over many years and am very happy to be part of this Mobile App launch that is all set to educate women from all walks of life living in both rural and urban India about everything they need to know about Breast cancer and also about other common non cancer benign health issues. Dr Raghu Ram has achieved much success at a very young age & I pray that lord almighty gives him even more strength to continue with the innovative work that he is undertaking under the auspices of Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation. My message to men is that instead of gifting a Sari or jewelry to your loved ones during festivals, please gift a Screening mammogram once a year to your Spouse, which would go a long way in saving many lives through early detection”.
Mr. Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, Information Technology, Govt. of Telangana & Chief Advisor of Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation outlined the unique initiatives undertaken by the not for profit Breast cancer Charity based out of Hyderabad. He applauded Dr. Raghu Ram for championing a one of its kind Breast cancer advocacy movement in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and paid rich tributes to the doctor’s role in implementing South Asia’s largest population based Breast Cancer Screening Programme in the Telugu States, which has become a benchmark initiative for the Govt. of India, which is now being replicated all over India.
Mr. K. Padmanabhaiah, Former Union Home Secretary & currently, Chairman, Administrative Staff College of India said that he has watched Dr. Raghu Ram’s work over the past decade from the ringside. Paying rich tributes to Dr. Raghu Ram’s vision and missionary zeal, he appreciated Dr. Ram’s vision and strategies employed to bring about a number of transformational changes to improve the delivery of Breast healthcare in India. Mr Padmanabhaiah pointed out that there is an urgent need for doctors working in cancer care in India to contribute part of their time and energies towards cancer advocacy, which is in its infancy. This he said, would in turn create more awareness, ensure early detection and help reduce the burden of advanced cancers in our Country.
BREAST CANCER SCENARIO IN INDIA & REASON FOR CREATING THIS APP
With 150, 000 new cases being diagnosed every year, the incidence of Breast Cancer has overtaken Cervical Cancer to become the most common cancer affecting women in India. In many parts of the Country, Breast cancer is a taboo – a ‘closet’ issue that is not openly discussed. Due to lack of awareness, more than 60% of Breast cancers present in advanced stages, with most succumbing within a year of being diagnosed. With some 70, 000 deaths per year, a woman succumbs to Breast Cancer every ten minutes in India. Furthermore, as counseling skills is not part of the Indian Medical Curriculum, there are enormous lacunae in ‘breaking bad news’ to those diagnosed with Breast Cancer, and equally, very little time is spent by Healthcare Professionals in reassuring the ‘worried well’ with Benign Breast Health issues (which are far more common than Breast Cancer).
To precisely address the above mentioned issues, since 2007, Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation in collaboration with Breast Cancer Care UK (largest Breast Cancer Charity in United Kingdom) has printed & distributed 100, 000 Booklets that has empowered people across Telangana & Andhra Pradesh about every aspect of Breast health in TWO languages (English & Telugu).
Encouraged by the enormous impact/heightened levels of breast health awareness generated over the past TEN years (2007 – 2017) through these Information Booklets in the Telugu States, Ushalakshhmi Breast Cancer Foundation has embarked upon making available this vital information on a MOBILE APP that aims to reach out to people all over the Country in TWELVE LANGUAGES (English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Bengali, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Oriya & Assamese)