The Kerala State has roughly 35,000 new cancer cases every year (age adjusted incidence), based on the cancer registry data. There are 133 male and 123 female cancer patients per lakh reported in Kerala. A total of 120,000 cancer patients are in prevalence annually in the State. As per statistics, nearly 50 per cent of cancer cases could be cured if the disease was identified in the initial stage itself and treatment started.
In Idukki district, the excessive use of pesticides in the plantations and vegetable gardens is posing a threat to the health of locals. Tobacco is the most important identified cause of cancer in the area followed by dietary practices, alcohol consumption, infections due to viruses and sexual behaviour. The District Hospital data and reports show that there is an increase number of the people with signs and symptoms of cancer. Lung, blood, breast, throat and intestinal cancers seem to be the most common in the area. The district government hospital reported that 40% of patients comes to the oncology department are with the symptoms of cancer. In last year alone, 260 patients were reported having cancer and precancerous conditions.
“Cancer prevention through health education and promoting community volunteers in Katapana block of Idukki district, Kerala” has been designed to promote the primary and secondary care service in the area through building network and coordination with the health care professionals and building community volunteers to campaign against the cancer consistently in the project block.
Though the disease affects the whole community irrespective of their age and living conditions, we work closely with the school going children, college students, agricultural labours, women group members, farmers and petty shop owners who sell the tobacco and other prohibited stuffs leads to dreadful diseases.
The prime objective of the project are:
- To sensitize the community to bring reduction in cancer mortality, and cancer associated morbidity.
- To identify and build the capacity of community volunteers to promote cancer awareness and preventive care initiative in the block.
- To provide community health education regarding early symptoms, causes, primary and secondary preventive measures of cancer disease.
- To sensitize the school children and college going students about the good dietary practices and sensitize the educational institutions to proactively respond to the usage of poly substance abuse.
- To organize medical camps to diagnose cancer at early stage and guide the patience to access medical care and rehabilitation services with the support of RCC and District Medical Hospital.
- To sensitize the farmers to promote organic farming in the area.
- To extend the palliate care to the persons living with the cancer disease through ASHA and health department.
- To take up advocacy with health and environment departments to minimize the factors influencing cancer disease in the State.
The main activities carried out in this project are:
- Organizing training to the community volunteers to motivate people for habit curtailment, attend for screening, prompt treatment as in a campaign and co-ordinate the project activities at grass root level
- Awareness to the People to promote community awareness and educating the women, children, youths, aged and other people those who are vulnerable to the dreadful disease.
- Conducting Early Detection Camps.
- Cancer diagnosis and treatment
- Pain relief and Palliative Care
- Counselling for the Patients and Family Members
- Medical and treatment Aids.