A Free Oral Screening and Breast Cancer Awareness Camp was organized by the Indian Dental Association AND Bayer Prayas Foundation on January 13, 2020. The camp was held at IDA’s Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Education & Research Centre and Super Specialty Dental Clinic, Prabhadevi, Opp. Siddivinayak Temple, Dadar (West), Mumbai. Smt. Supriya Sule, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, was the honoured guest at the inaugural function. The Camp was a part of IDA’s Women Empowerment activity under its MAHILA AROGYA ABHIYAN Programme. The focus was on oral and general health awareness as well as breast cancer awareness. Oral and Breast Cancer Screening was held for three days from 13 January to 15 January, 2020. Speaking on the occasion the chief guest, Smt. Supriya Sule, highlighted the need for awareness about Oral and Breast cancer as cancer cases have seen an alarming rise over the past few years in India.The chief guest highly appreciated the oral health initiative carried out by IDA addressing the needs of the women. She also complimented innovative programs like Discovering Hands, a unique Corporate Societal Engagement initiative of Bayer, where visually impaired women are trained to conduct physical breast examination using their highly developed sense of touch. These women undergo a nine-month training period after which they are certified as Medical Tactile Examiners (MTEs).The Self Examination techniques she said, helps to increase attention and support for the awareness, early detection and treatment as well as palliative care of this disease. She added that currently there is not enough knowledge on the causes of oral and breast cancer. Therefore, early detection of the disease remains the cornerstone for cancer control. When cancer is detected early, and if adequate diagnosis and treatment are available, there is a good chance that cancer can be cured.Furthermore, she mentioned about the correlation between oral health and general health emphasizing on mouth being the window to your body hence taking care of your oral cavity can prevent various diseases associated to it. She added that it is admirable that such attention is being given by IDA not only to Oral Health, Oral Cancer but also Breast Cancer.She highly appreciated the technical aspect of breast cancer presented by Dr. Mandeep Singh, Director at the Breast centre, CK Birla Hospital, Gurgaon. She suggested to integrate Oral and Breast cancer programmes with ASHA and Anganwadi workers and ensured to provide support for the cause. Speaking of the importance of the need to improve oral health and general health, she appreciated IDA’sHealthy Mouth and Healthy Body campaign and suggested to begin with, in Maharashtra State, to also include Healthy Mind in the quote.
A TWO-DAY interactive workshop of Presidents and Secretaries of IDA Branches across the country was held coinciding with the birth anniversary of the Founding Father of IDA on 24 December, 2019 which is celebrated as the National Dentists Day.