Indian-American physicians initiate cervical cancer awareness campaign in India

Leaders of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, AAPI, 2021. Photo: courtesy AAPI.

January is #CervicalCancer Awareness Month in the U.S. and the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, AAPI,   is planning to focus on bringing awareness of Cervical Cancer in India during the upcoming Global Healthcare Summit (GHS) 2022 at the Hotel Avasa in Hyderabad, scheduled for January 5th to 7th, 2022. The announcement was made by AAPI President Dr. Anupama Gotimukula Dec. 13, 2021, in a press release.

According to The American Cancer Society, Cervical Cancer was once one of the most common causes of cancer death for American women. The cervical cancer death rate dropped significantly with the increased use of the Pap test for screening. Cervical cancer is among a number of cancers that can be caused by infections with pathogens – bacteria, viruses, and parasites.

Dr. Udhaya Shivangi, chair of AAPI GHS 2022 noted that if vaccination programs are effectively implemented, approximately 90 percent of invasive cervical cancer cases worldwide could be prevented, in addition to the majority of precancerous lesions. “We want to sponsor a minimum of 100 free vaccines among High School children during our Global Healthcare Summit. We urge all AAPI members and leaders, to join us in this fight to eradicate Cervical Cancer.”

Quoting research studies, Dr. Kusum Punjabi, chair of AAPI Board of Trustees, said, “Cervical cancer could be the first cancer EVER in the world to be eliminated, if: 90 % of girls are vaccinated; 70% of women are screened; and, 90% of women with cervical disease receive treatment. GHS 2022 will be a forum to educate and create awareness about this deadly disease that can be prevented.”

Dr. Ravi Kolli, president-elect of AAPI, said, “Our theme for GHS 2022 is: ‘Prevention Better than Cure.” Cervical Cancer is preventable through vaccination and early pap smears and cervical examinations. Justifiably so, one of our preventive campaign goals this year is to provide education and prevention of  Cervical Cancer in India.”

“AAPI’s this new initiative will help save millions of lives in India” Dr. Meher Medavaram, a key organizer of GHS 2022 pointed out.

Other AAPI leaders also made statements on the need for the cervical cancer campaign in India. Many of these leaders are also involved with making the Global Health Summit a success. They include Dr. Sujeeth Punnam, U.S. coordinator, Dr. Dwarkananda Reddy, GHS Indian coordinator; Dr. Lokesh Edara, chair Global Medical Education; Dr. Prabhakar Sharma, CME chair, Dr. Prabhat Sinha, chair Sponsorships and Exhibits, Dr. Seema Arora, chair of Women’s Forum; Dr. Joseph M. Chalil, chair of CEO Forum; Dr. Belani Kumar, chair of the Medical Students Research Poster presentations; Dr. Lakshmi Thirunagari and coordinators of Medical Jeopardy.

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