Being cared for by a cancer victor can mean a world of difference for a cancer patient dealing with the shock of being diagnosed with a life-threatening disease. Enriching their lives with emotional, spiritual, and para-medical support is thus imperative to bring cancer patients on a swift path to recovery. This is exactly what our CanSahayogi initiative aims to do through the Sanjeevani Counselling and Rehabilitation Centres (SCRCs).
Before we understand more about the CanSahyogi initiative, here are a couple of facts worth considering:
- Cancer is the 2nd biggest cause of death in India. Out of the 15 lakh new cases every year, there are five lakh deaths in India alone, many of which are caused by the fear of cancer being amplified by the lack of psycho-social support.
- On the other hand, a study commissioned by Sanjeevani to 'The College of Social Work Nirmala Niketan', highlighted that almost all of the researched patients admitted the need for emotional and psychological support through counseling to deal with the strenuous circumstances during the course of their illness and 77% of the 250 participants opined that need for psycho-social support was their primary need during this journey. The rising number of cancer patients, when compared to the limited number of doctors, shows a steady decrease in the amount of time that a doctor can devote to interacting with each patient. In such cases, hand holding the patient through their concerns requires professional psycho-social guidance.
Keeping these two observations in mind, we naturally came to the conclusion that reaching out to cancer patients through in-hospital interventions and encouraging them to complete their treatment helps them build the courage and positive outlook required to successfully beat their illness and be prepared for a - life beyond cancer. Here's our Founder, Ruby Ahluwalia speaking about the importance of psycho-social support in cancer care.
These in-hospital interventions involve providing Sanjeevani's Cancer Buddies in Regional Cancer Centres across India. Trained and certified caregivers, most of our Cancer Buddies are either cancer victors or relatives of cancer victors themselves. Having witnessed the illness first-hand, they handhold the patients through their course of treatment through counseling.
Our professionals further help the patients in fulfilling their emotional and logistical needs during and after the treatment as well, thus ensuring an all-around holistic cancer-care approach. These professional caregivers work towards initiating a friendly rapport with the patients which then allows them to establish an empathetic approach to communication. With this approach, they gradually earn the patients' and their families' trust. A feeling of mutual understanding empowers our onco-caregivers to foresee the patient’s needs and reaffirm their trust in the recovery process.
Which aspects of holistic care do Sanjeevani's caregivers provide?
Navigate them through their treatment protocols and whole treatment process
Facilitate better and more meaningful interaction between patients and doctors
Encourage patients to adhere to medical advice throughout as well as post-treatment.
Encourage patients to complete the full treatment cycle.
Assist in arranging financial resources through Govt schemes and from other Trusts/ Donors.
Assist in arranging accommodation for outstation patients.
Equip patients with skills to manage the side effects of the treatment.
Emotional support to patients and families.
Hold patient-centric activities and fun events.
Facilitate Distribution of Can Ahaar Nutritional Supplement packets
What started in 2012 with just one center in Mumbai, the CanSahayogi project now helps patients across 23 centers spread across 13 states in India. The project has enriched lives of over 5,00,000 patients in past 10 years (since inception in 2012).
The list of areas where CanSahyogi is currently active in is as follows:
- Mumbai - Tata Memorial Hospital
- Mumbai - Advance Centre For Treatment Research & Education in Cancer (ACTREC)
- Ahmedabad - Gujarat Cancer & Research Institute
- Surat - Shri Devarajbhai Bavabhai Tejani Cancer Institute
- Surat - Bharat Cancer Hospital & Research Institute
- Jaipur - Sawai Man Singh Hospital
- Jaipur - Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Hospital
- Jaipur - State Cancer Institute
- Bikaner - Acharya Tulsi Regional Cancer Treatment & Research Institute
- Delhi - All India Institute for Medical Sciences
- Delhi - Delhi State Cancer Institute, and
- Delhi - Rajiv Gandhi Institue
- Kolkata - Chittranjan National Cancer Institute (Old Campus)
- Kolkata - Chittranjan National Cancer Institute (New Campus)
- Guwahati - Bhubaneshwar Borooah Cancer Institute
- Hyderabad - Mehdi Nawaz Jung Institute of Oncology
- VishakaPatnam - Homi Baba Cancer & Research Centre
- Varanasi - Mahamana Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya Cancer Centre &
- Varanasi - Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital
Our Intervention in the above hospitals is supported through a grant by Mazagaon Dock Shipbuilders Limited, PC Shah Trust, Numaligarh Refinery Limited, Indraprastha Gas Limited, Container Corporation of India, and RailTel Corporation of India Limited.
In our mission to raise the bar for cancer care in India, we plan to establish our network spanning all the 29 states of India in the coming four years. Watch Dr. Rajiv Sarin, former director of ACTREC, Mumbai, speaking about the importance of creating a pool of professional caregivers to ultimately increase the standards for onco-care in our country.
A mark of our constant desire to help as many patients as we can, it gives us great pleasure to share that as of today, the CanSahayogi program has managed to enrich the lives of over 5,00,000 patients since its inception.