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20,000 women to be screened for breast cancer



The state government on Saturday launched three welfare schemes for women in the presence of Union Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani.

The schemes are Yashaswini Scheme for Women Entrepreneurship, Swasthya Sahayak Project and breast cancer screening handheld device facilitating detection of cancer.

The function was attended by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, Women and Child Development Minister Vishwajit Rane, Dean of Goa Medical College and Hospital S M Bandekar, Health Secretary Nila Mohanan, president of Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) Srinath Reddy and Managing Director of Procter & Gamble Health Ltd Milind Thatte.

Addressing anganwadi workers and self-help group members at the function in the city, Irani said that by launching such women-oriented schemes, the state government has shown concern towards the welfare and health of women as well as nutrition of children.

Under the Yashaswini Scheme for Women Entrepreneurship, the state government provides interest-free loan upto Rs 5 lakh with tenure of five years to self-help groups with repayment starting from the second year and the loan to be paid in four installments.

Under the Swasthya Sahayak scheme, a diagnostic kit will be supplied to primary healthcare workers and anganwadi workers in the state to help them conduct basic diagnostic tests at people’s doorstep so as to bring an affordable and convenient solution to the common man, who had to stand in queues and wait for days for getting basic diagnostic tests done.

The diagnostic kit has been developed by Public Health Foundation of India, which has partnered with Procter and Gamble

to manufacture and supply the kits using corporate social responsibility (CSR) fund.

The Union minister handed over the kit to an anganwadi worker at the function. The kit includes an interface unit, a tablet and the peripheral bag containing all the equipment needed to perform tests for blood pressure, blood sugar, blood haemoglobin and heart rate.

Speaking about the success of Prime Minister’s health protection scheme ‘Ayushman Bharat’, launched in 2018 for vulnerable and poor families, Irani said it had so far helped over 70 lakh women to undergo screening for breast cancer and more than 30 lakh women across the country have been screened for cervical cancer under the national universal healthcare scheme.

“No one had thought that there would be a government at the Centre which would not just announce schemes but also achieve targets ahead of the deadline of 2020. Take the Ujjwala Yojana for example for which the target was providing free gas cylinders for five crore women. I am happy that today when we see Ujwala Yojana numbers, in just three years, eight crore poor women have got clean fuel,” Irani said. “The government does not only announce schemes but also demonstrates what it can achieve if it is committed to the welfare of the people,” she said. She also lauded the role of Anganwadi workers and thanked them for their selfless service to society.

Speaking at the launch of the schemes, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said that the long pending proposal of the women and child development department to increase the retirement age of anganwadi workers has been considered from the existing 60 to 62 years along with a nominal hike in the honorarium and both proposals will be announced during the state budget session. He said that the government is taking all efforts to uplift women in starting their own business and added that it will also help the women in selling their products in the market and at state-run handicraft stores.

“Breast cancer is on the rise in the state and the state already conducts various programmes for generating awareness on breast cancer. Now with the help of handheld devices the anganwadi and healthcare workers will screen women for breast cancer, reaching out to the women in rural parts of the state,” he said.

Health and Women and Child Development Minister Vishwajit Rane said that with the help of Swasthya Sahayak Project, the anganwadi and healthcare workers will conduct tests and create digitised health data of every citizen so that the government can make informed, real-time decisions about targeting health resources. With the help of such a device, the delivery of health services will become more accessible and affordable, he said and added that 20,000 women would be screened for breast cancer.

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