Karnataka to launch more ‘pink buses’ to help women in rural areas fight cancer


The existing fleet of two buses with laboratory facilities will now be raised to eight. (Photo: Karnataka Health Department)

In a bid to aid early detection of cancer among women in rural areas, the Karnataka government is set to launch eight more ‘Pink Buses’.

According to health department officials, the buses, procured under the National Health Mission funds, will be fully fitted with cancer detection equipment such as machines for ultrasound, X-ray, mammogram for breast examination, and colposcope for cervix examination.

"These buses are expected to be commissioned by March 2020, after the state budget, scheduled to be presented on March 5, lays down their fund allocation," an official said.

Each bus will have a team of doctors, paramedical staff, and technicians. Also equipped with laboratory arrangements for collecting blood and biopsy samples, these buses will ply in different districts. Priority will be given to rural and interior areas to spread awareness on cancer, along with detection and initial treatment prescription," the official added.

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The extension of the existing fleet of two buses will be part of the project initiated by the state-run Kidwai Memorial Institue of Oncology (KMIO)in Bengaluru, the first cancer institute in Karnataka.

The equipment used in these buses is donated to the Institute by Bharat Electronics Ltd. (BEL) and the Association of Kannada Kootas of America (AKKA), a non-profit organisation for Kannadigas in the United States and Canada.

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The proposal for the project was first chalked out during the tenure of the HD Kumaraswamy-led Congress-JD(S) coalition government.