SBI Life under its ‘Thanks-A-Dot’ initiative has lined up a series of educative workshops to spread awareness about the importance of self-examination and early lump detection to combat breast cancer. Taking ‘Thanks-A-Dot’ to rural India, the educative workshops will spur positive conversations around breast health and break through the socio-cultural barriers associated with breast cancer.
The month of October is observed as Breast Cancer Awareness month.
Since its launch, Thanks-A-Dot has reached over 18 million people on the digital medium, garnered 0.3 million engagements and received 3000 plus orders for its easy-to-use self-training module kit.
‘Thanks-A-Dot’ initiative is supported by the Women’s Cancer Initiative -Tata Memorial Hospital.
According to World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index 2017, India ranks 141* in the world in the category of ‘Indian Female Health and survival’. A breast cancer patient survival rate is 66% in India as compared to 88% in Europe/US and no. of projected deaths due to breast cancer is estimated to grow to 76,000 by 2020.
Thanks A Dot comes with an easy-to-use self-training module, which can improve tactile (touch) capacity on fingers to be able to detect early signs of lump formation in the breasts, that can be ordered free of cost through SBI Life’s corporate website.
Ravindra Sharma, Chief of Brand and Corporate Communications, SBI Life Insurance, said, “While in most cases, if detected early breast cancer can be cured, unfortunately the lack of awareness has led to a rise in breast cancer across the country especially in rural India. ‘Thanks-A-Dot’ initiative encourages women towards being self-prepared, by a simple yet innovative easy-to-use self-examination kit. We hope this initiative will continue to foster positive conversations around breast health not only in urban centres but also rural areas where breast cancer is seen as a taboo. As a responsible life insurer, we believe such initiatives can go a long way in making women more breast cancer aware.”
To reiterate the importance of self-preparedness the SBI Life released a digital video, riding on the conversational wave of Breast Cancer Awareness month, featuring lifestyle and fashion blogger, Juhi Godambe, to remind women to make personal health a priority and encourage oneself to adopt a behaviour of self-breast examination at least 10 minutes every month as means to stay one step ahead in the fight against breast cancer.
As a part of the awareness drive, SBI Life is also taking ‘Thanks-a-Dot’ to women at the grassroots level residing in the rural areas where lack of awareness, majority of which is socio-cultural, surrounding the disease is causing late diagnosis. These include reluctance to consult male doctors; prioritisation of family obligations over health and an over-reliance on family members for medical advice. An educative workshop to this effect was organised in Sirsa, Haryana, and now in the interiors of Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, to empower and educate more and more women about the need for self-breast examination and financial planning to fight cancer. The ‘Thanks-A-Dot’ kit (self-training module) will be distributed among these women to inculcate the habit of self-breast examination.
Rajiv Dingra, Founder and CEO, WATConsult, said, “Looking at the current situation of Breast Cancer awareness in India, we felt the need for creating more awareness about the benefits of early detection of lumps via self-examination. Thus leveraging the ongoing 'Breast cancer Awareness' month we thought of taking our ‘Thanks A Dot’ initiative to more rural places in the country. We launched a new digital video with a leading fashion blogger Juhi Godambe to build a stronger connect amongst women and raise awareness around self-check on a regular basis”.
Thanks-A-Dot is an easy-to-use, self-examination module to detect early signs of lump formation. The tool is developed using Braille as an inspiration which is the most successful tactile learning system in the world for those who are visually impaired. It is powered with the knowledge of real breast cancer mammograms. A specially developed 3D- shaping algorithm gives average lump shapes to practice self-exam and improves self-detection. Launched in March 2019, on Women’s Day, ‘Thanks-A-Dot’ initiative aims at making the topic of breast cancer more approachable while promoting the importance of self-examination and early lump detection to combat breast cancer.