ALL IT TAKES IS ONE VACCINE,
TO PROTECT A CHILD FROM CERVICAL CANCER.
WHY CERVICAL CANCER?
Cervical Cancer kills 1 in 52 women in India and it is always associated with a preceding HPV vaccine.
The HPV vaccine is administered to adolescents to protect them from HPV infections which may predispose to cervical cancer in adult life. That's right, a vaccine that can protect against cancer exists.
Yet, 94% of Indians are unaware of the existence of this vaccine. This combined with the fact that it may cost over Rs. 9,000 to vaccinate a child means that most children never receive this vaccine.
IDENTIFYING THE BENEFICIARIES
Reach Lives functions as a platform for health providers to reach marginalized communities. This means our job starts with finding deserving communities that are underprivileged but can be reached with our help. Extensive search and discussions with state governments brought us to a population of children in Goa. An in-depth needs assessment provided us the data with which to approach relevant manufacturers and service providers to meet the identified 'unmet needs'.
We leveraged our partnerships with large Pharmaceutical companies and healthcare providers to procure the vaccines at an affordable price. By hosting a marathon in Goa, which was attended by a mixture of professional athletes, professionals, students and volunteers from other NGOs, we raised funds to cover the cost of procuring the vaccine. The marathon was organized in partnership with the Goa College of Architecture and was held on 21 January, 2020. In addition, in partnership with The Crimson Canvas, a Paint by the Beach fundraiser was organized to raise additional funds.
Over the course of the next month we organized and executed several health awareness and promotion campaigns. The objective of these events was to educate the masses on the importance of screening for cervical changes among adult women and the need to vaccinate children during adolescence.
Starting in January, 2020, we worked with Manipal Hospital, Goa to engage the identified communities and organize vaccination clinics free of charge. This project was completed in November, 2020 and a total of 250 children were vaccinated.