July 8 2011
We departed Puttaparthi at 7:00 am yesterday and were in the offices of the Infosys CEO Kris Gopalakrishnan in Bangalore by 11:00. Kris spent a full hour with us and was highly interested in what we are doing. We proposed that Infosys support our intention to scale up our PINCC efforts in India, through our collaboration with PHRII, to establish a Centre of Excellence for Cancer Prevention in Women. We are expecting that Infosys will send a manager of the Infosys Foundation to our clinic here in Mysore during 11-14 July.
Initially we would create a more established centre for our work in India, with Indian management and an Indian lead trainer (whom we would train). As growth occurs we would anticipate establishing VIA screening and training collaborations with other NGOs who are working at micro-scale around the country.
We are also working on a proposal for the Tata Family Trust to support our work here. Since PINCC has no legal basis in India, the proposal will come through PHRII.
With 25% of global cervical cancer cases and 27% of cervical cancer deaths world-wide, India is an overwhelmingly large and intense place for the present PINCC model to make a difference. Fully 10% of the global population lives in Indian villages! The government continues to ignore this disease and its prevention, so we will have to shame them into attention through Public Private Partnerships to get our work to scale. PHRII continues to be an extremely reliable, competent and committed partner in this venture. When polio re-appeared a few years ago, the Indian Government proved it could mount a nation-wide universal vaccination program overnight, so it is just a question of challenging the society's will to save 73,000 lives a year (one every 7 minutes) that are lost needlessly. Presently only 2.6% of Indian women ever have a single screening (2.3% in villages, 4.6% in cities). The opportunity is huge for harvesting this low-hanging fruit!!!
Dr. Rhoda just completed a press conference here at PHRII headquarters, attended by about 20 local reporters. We will be looking for great coverage in the local English language and Kannada language papers tomorrow! Also tomorrow, Dr. Rhoda will be presenting a CME lecture at JSS Medical College, which is also our venue for next week's VIA clinic. JSSMC will be sending some new trainees and so far appear to be eager to become a central partner in the Mysore PINCC work going forward. Rhoda and I are scheduled to meet the spiritual leader of the organization that sponsors JSS to pray for his support next Thursday at the end of our fourth day of screening / training.
More to come!