This week’s edition of HealthTroopers, we interviewed Dr. Roopa Hariprasad, Gynecologist and Scientist at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) – National Institute of Cancer Prevention Research (NICPR). Dr. Roopa Hariprasad is involved in community-based screening and early detection of oral, cervical and breast cancers. We chatted with her to discuss the current status of cancer screening programs in India – what lessons can be learnt and how we can reduce the burden of cancer by improving screening methods.
Can you give our readers a brief description of your background and your current role at the National Institute of Cancer Prevention Research?
I am a Gynecologist by training and have worked in gynecological cancer research at the Institute Rotary Cancer Hospital, the cancer wing of All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi. At ICMR-NICPR, I head the Division of Clinical Oncology. We run a Health Promotion Clinic, where we offer population-based cancer screening services in cervical, breast and oral in addition to other non-communicable diseases like hypertension and diabetes.
Tell us about ECHO and how it is being used?
Being a cancer prevention and research institute, we contribute to the Operational Framework of Management of Common Cancers, a set of guidelines released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in August 2016 on population based cancer screening of three common cancers (oral, breast and cervical cancer). While engaging in this task, we got to know of the vast gap that exists in knowledge and skills required for cancer screening among the health care providers. So, we thought we could offer to share our knowledge to up-skill the existing work force in the government sector in cancer screening. Now it was impossible for us to do so only through contact training, which is highly resource dependent and time consuming. So, this is when Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) came to our rescue, to leverage technology in the form of a web-based online knowledge sharing portal. ECHO is an online knowledge-sharing platform, which believes in moving knowledge (across health systems, cities, nations and continents) rather than moving patients or doctors. Through ECHO, we’re able to train various cadres of health care providers without either the trainers or trainees having to leave their work/ home space, thus reducing cost, time and efforts drastically. We use the ECHO platform to train health care providers from remote places who are interested to gain knowledge on cancer screening. It can be easily accessed on a desktop or laptop computer, tablet, or smartphone with broadband or wireless Internet connectivity. Read More
When we talk about cancer, one of the many challenges is #CancerAwareness. Read how #cancerscreening program by @NICPR_ECHO & @NHSRC_India helped 𝗗𝗿 𝗦𝗿𝗲𝗲 𝗗𝗲𝘃𝗶 garner skills req to screen & guide treatment modalities for cancer https://t.co/SJHo8jJYl2