Punjab’s Department of Health & Family Welfare (HFW), Roche Products India, and Niramai Health Analytix have inked an agreement for accelerating screening and treatment for breast cancer in the state.
The partnership, ‘Punjab Breast Cancer AI-Digital Project’, also known as ‘Pink project’, will focus on efforts to ensure timely identification, treatment initiation, and “robust referral pathways across the various health centres through technology enabled digital live patient tracking support”, a Punjab government statement said.
HFW Minister Dr Vijay Singla said that the public-private partnership is a significant step forward in the battle against cancer and a real boost to the potential of reducing the disease burden and serving the last mile.
He said that a total of 15,000 screenings are targeted to be carried out in a span of one year.
He said that the epidemiological data generated with the help of this project will further support policy planning and mapping of the spread of breast cancer cases.
The project aspires to actively initiate early detection, and help down staging the disease, the minister said, according to the statement.
Early detection will also lead to lower costs of the treatment as compared to patients who are diagnosed in later stages, he said.
Roche Products India Limited will act as a technical partner for project planning, implementation & monitoring of the state-wide Breast Cancer project plan, the statement said.
Geetha Manjunath, Founder and CEO of Niramai, speaking at the MOU signing event said “Breast cancer is the largest cancer killer resulting in the deaths of over 90,000 Indian women every year.” Niramai Thermalytix is a portable, accurate, and automated test that can be conducted by a village health worker to identify women suspicious of breast cancer.
“We are very happy to partner with Punjab Government and Roche India to take this solution to every district of Punjab. We hope to replicate this across all states to save thousands of lives,” she said.