RAD-AID and PGIMER Chandigarh, a Center of Excellence for medicine and research in Asia, have partnered to care for women in underserved communities. As of 2017, we cared for over 16,000 patients and doubled cancer screening rates in the served regions of India. Our mobile women’s health imaging clinic is called, Asha Jyoti (meaning “Ray of Hope” in Hindi). This mobile service provides screening and follow-up care for breast cancer, cervical cancer and osteoporosis to thousands of underserved women in Northern India every year. PGIMER medical and public health staff operate the module and educate patients on a daily basis. Women who require follow-up have seamless access to specialists within PGIMER. RAD-AID provides educational and program planning support to health workers and staff via on-site visits by RAD-AID volunteers and online.
The goals are twofold: we aim to detect disease earlier while at the same time using the flagship van to spread awareness about women’s health issues. The equipment and operational assistance was generously donated by Philips Healthcare, and contractual advice was kindly provided by Brendan Wilson, Esq. The innovative design of the mobile health clinic integrates multiple health services into one point of care to produce a novel outreach method to address women’s health issues, poverty, and access to health care. Please view the video of Asha Jyoti, produced by the Clinton Global Initiative.
History of the Program
RAD-AID’s management team visited India in July 2010 in collaboration with Project HOPE on RAD-AID’s Radiology-Readiness Initiative. Participating institutions in India included PGI Chandigarh, Singh Radiodiagnostics in Chandigarh (Punjab), Okay Diagnostic Center in Jaipur, and Artermis Health Center in New Delhi.
RAD-AID returned to North India in January 2011 to further work on women’s health, patient education and mobile service outreach to underserved populations. Joining the RAD-AID team in January 2011 was Pangea from Columbia University School of Business to work with Project HOPE and PGI Chandigarh on program planning and economic assessment. Results and plans were presented at the 2011 RAD-AID Conference.
RAD-AID Radiology-Readiness team of 2010 during first visit to ChandigarhThe team returned to India for more than a month in early 2012 to plan and develop a mobile health program with PGIMER. In May 2012, RAD-AID and PGIMER launched Asha Jyoti (meaning “Light of Hope” in Hindi), a mobile screening module that integrates community health education with imaging-based screening and diagnostic programs for women’s health and broad public health programs. The team returned to Chandigarh in August 2012 and also launched a technologist education program with the support of the ASRT.
October 2012 marked the successful conclusion of the 6-month pilot, and the program was officially announced at the Champions of Action Session of the Clinton Global Initiative. As of November 2012, Asha Jyoti was launched as a five-year program with the goal of improving the long-term health of women in Punjab. Asha Jyoti also aims to demonstrate the importance and feasibility of preventive screening programs to other interested community and government leaders worldwide.