The number of cancer cases is increasing rapidly in India. Medical experts estimate that by 2030, there will be nearly two million new cancer cases diagnosed in the country. These may comprise a large segment of paediatric oncology. To fight this epidemic, Airports Authority of India (AAI) has undertaken several initiatives. As part of its corporate social responsibility, AAI has been providing monetary assistance to ensure timely treatment of underprivileged cancer patients. Juhu Airport of Airports Authority of India recently signed an MoU with the Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai. Juhu Airport has given ` 1.32 crore as financial aid towards the procurement of specialised equipment needed for the treatment of destitute children suffering from cancer.
Juhu Airport supported Tata Memorial Centre (TMC) through a provision of rupees one crore for the complete financial adoption of underprivileged children suffering from cancer. An emergency fund of rupees five lakhs was provided by AAI to help with the treatment of an underprivileged child diagnosed with early stage cancer. AAI also contributed ` 31.38 lakh for the procurement of Tape Station High-Throughput machine for the Department of Med-Oncology-Molecular Laboratory, TMC, to make diagnosis of cancer more effective and to enable doctors to give targeted therapies in this era of precision medicine.
This is not the only instance of AAI providing assistance to ensure timely treatment for cancer patients. Earlier this year, AAI decided to upgrade the pathology division of Cachar Cancer Hospital and Research Center, Silchar, Assam. The cancer hospital provides low cost services to the underprivileged and low-income population hailing from the Barak Valley and the Dima Hasao district of Assam as well as the neighbouring north-eastern states of Tripura, Manipur, Meghalaya, and Mizoram. Airport Authority is providing a financial assistance of ` 76.05 lakh.
Commenting on AAI’s initiative to provide assistance in ensuring better medical facilities to the underprivileged, Dr Guruprasad Mohapatra, Chairman, AAI, said, “As a successful PSU, we feel morally responsible for ensuring a holistic lifestyle for the less privileged in our society. Our initiatives in north-east India, cochlear implant assistance, cervical screening programme for the less privileged women, and now, our collaboration with Tata Memorial Hospital are testimony to our commitment to the cause.”
AAI has entrusted its women’s welfare organisation, Kalyanmayee, with the responsibility of conducting cervical cancer screening camps at various locations throughout the country. As a pilot project under this initiative, screening camps have been organised in various low-income clusters in Delhi, like Swami Vivekanand Basti, Kanakadurga Basti in RK Puram, and slums in Seelampur and Chanakyapuri, earlier this year.
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