Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL), an Indian government owned engineering and manufacturing enterprise of India’s largest power generation equipment, announced a CSR partnership with National Society for Childhood Cancer CANKIDS KIDSCAN to achieveaccess to care for children from117 Aspirational Districts of India as per the Aspirational District Project 2018 launched by the Government of India.
India accounts for more than 25% of the world’s childhood cancer. Yet we have Poor Access2Care ratio.Less than 34% children make it to a cancer centre.The top 10 centres see no more than 13-15% of children. For this reason, Survival Rates is less than 20%.Launched in 2018, the WHO Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer (GICC) aims for LMIC’s like India to achieve at least 60% survival rate for children with cancer by 2030, thereby saving an additional one million lives. For reaching 60% survival India would require 100% Access2Care.
These 117 Aspirational Districts fall within Cankids 15 Change for Childhood CancerIn India State Projects, which aim to work with State Governments and all relevant stakeholders to ensure that families get best access to care – through appropriate knowledge of where to go, timely diagnosis and treatment, shared care and continuity of care. Cankids currently has signed MOUs as knowledge and technical partners for childhood cancer with 3 State Governments – Punjab, Maharashtra and West Bengal.
For this Pan India Project, BHEL had come forward to utilise its CSR fund to help children with cancer from the 117 most developmentally challenged districts thereby making its own contribution to this important Programmeof Government of India.
Dr. Nalin Shinghal, CMD, BHEL said“The Aspirational District Programme launched in 2018 is spearheaded by the Prime Minister himself. At the Central level it is steered by NITI Aayog in active partnership with state govts and district administration. CanKids is doing yeoman service for cancer-afflicted children, encompassing the entire spectrum of Childhood Cancer Care. Together with them we hope this Access2Care for childhood cancer ADP project will emerge as a best practice patient centred healthcare success story from these 117 districts.”
There are many barriers and obstacles in Access2care from these 117 districts like Distance of Care Centres, Knowledge Gap in health care Professionals &Community Health Workers, Social Stigma, Lack of other supportive services, non-accessible information at treatment centre, Poor Public Infrastructure etc.
Started this project from March 2021, Cankids reached out to 15 state govts and NITI Aayog and received positive response from many states including a list of 25 kids from Wayanad district through District Collector. This September Childhood Cancer Awareness Month out of 117 districts, Cankids together with state govt authorities has organized Car Rallies in 12 districts from 6 states which includes Punjab (Moga&Ferozpur), Uttar Pradesh (Bahraich&Balrampur), West Bengal (Birbhum & Nadia), Bihar (Gaya, Vaishali & Muzaffarpur), Tamil Nadu (Virudhunagar &Ramanathapurãm) and Gujarat (Dohad).
The rally teams led by Childhood Cancer Survivors spread awareness, provided training to ASHA workers, sensitize district hospitals Access to Childhood Cancer Care Resource Directories and information to CMO’s, HCP’s, HCW’s & Civil society in the Aspirational districts and enroute.
Speaking on this Mr. Mukul Marwah, Vice Chairman Cankids Kidscan said “The Access2Care model which underpins the State projects entails defining and agreeing on a 4 tier network of shared care from primary health care level, district level to tertiary cancer centers and Centers of excellence, with hubs and spokes across the State, with clear referral pathways and access to care information and resources at all levels so that together Govts, Hospitals, health care professionals, social support teams and Civil society organizations like ours are able to provide the right patient navigation and support to any family of a child with cancer.”
In the two last quarters(April to June and July to September )345 kids have been supported by Cankids under this project.