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Biocon Foundation bags ‘IHW Gold Award for Diseases Screening Initiative of the Year’ for 2022

Our Bureau, Bengaluru
Tuesday, January 24, 2023, 15:20 Hrs  [IST]

Biocon Foundation, the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm of Biocon Limited, has been awarded the Gold Award in the ‘Diseases Screening Initiative of the Year’ category for its ‘Oral Cancer Screening Programme’ by the India Health and Wellness (IHW) Council.

Dr Anupama Shetty, mission director, Biocon Foundation received the award at the 8th edition of the IHW Summit & Awards, which was co-hosted by the public health & family welfare department, Government of Maharashtra and supported by NITI Aayog.

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, executive chairperson, Biocon and managing trustee, Biocon Foundation, said, “The IHW Council’s ‘Gold Award for Diseases Screening Initiative of the Year’ is a great recognition of the impact Biocon Foundation has made in the early detection and management of oral cancer in the country through its cost-effective, innovative and technology-based screening programme. Downstaging oral cancer through early detection is key to alleviate the burden of disease and oral cancer has been a major public health issue in India for several decades. The Foundation’s efforts are leading to improved survival, decreased morbidity and low out-of-pocket expenditure for patients.”

Dr  Shetty, Mission director, Biocon Foundation, said, “We are extremely happy to receive the IHW Council’s Gold Award for our Oral Cancer Screening Programme, which adopts a unique approach for robust surveillance and monitoring of high-risk groups in population-based and opportunistic screenings. Our mobile health (mHealth) module offers a simple interface that lends itself to effective data capture by health providers at all levels. The initiative has resulted in more than 70,000 screenings in different parts of India, and ~13% of positive detections for Oral Potentially Malignant Disorders (OPMDs) have been reported.”

Biocon Foundation has pioneered a mHealth-technology-based (mobile health) oral cancer screening programme in India with the aim of addressing and downstaging cancer of the lip and oral cavity, which is the most common cancer among males and the fourth most common cancer among females in India. It accounts for around 30% of all cancers in India, according to GLOBOCAN 2020.

The Foundation’s program improves the ability of Frontline Healthcare Providers (FHPs) to prevent and diagnose oral cancer at an early stage in low-resource settings. The capacity building of FHPs in the use of a mobile phone-based app empowers them to capture health data, including intra-oral images. It also connects FHPs to remote specialists for diagnosis. This unique approach enables robust patient triaging and surveillance to monitor high-risk groups.

Since its inception in 2011, the program has been rolled out in various high disease burden areas in Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Punjab, Nagaland and Assam. The Foundation has trained over 1,000 medical, paramedical and healthcare workers in using the mHealth technology for oral cancer screening.

 

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