Rajkot Cancer Society: Treatment in the time of COVID-19

Founded in 1969, Rajkot Cancer Society provides quality cancer care and treatment to all patients, regardless of socioeconomic status. With more than 250 staff and a hospital bed capacity of 160 patients, the organization's prevention and treatment work is vital to its community.   

The NGO is a part of the government of India's Ayushman Bharat Scheme, which aims to provide 40 percent of the individuals in the country with free healthcare. More than 90 percent of the patients receive treatment free of charge at the Rajkot Cancer Society, and patients who can afford treatment pay a nominal fee.  

Each year, the organization performs more than 1,000 surgeries, 1,500 patients receive radiation treatment, and about 2,200 patients receive chemotherapy. In total, Rajkot Cancer Society provides treatment for roughly 6,000 patients each year.  

Adapting to COVID-19 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization served 5,275 patients. This decline in patients receiving treatment may result in an increased number of undiagnosed individuals with cancer, as people are cautious about virus transmission. There were also fewer intakes at Rajkot Cancer Society due to physical distancing measures at the facility. 

In response to the pandemic, the Rajkot Cancer Society overhauled its screening and treatment protocols to ensure patients' safety. These measures include daily staff and patient COVID-19 RT-PCR testing, thermal scanning to check temperatures, and the deployment of personal protective equipment kits. 

NGOsource's Role 

In the fall of 2020, Rajkot Cancer Society became certified with NGOsource. Receiving a certified equivalency determination through NGOsource allowed the organization to receive funds for several public health initiatives. The Kundaria Cancer Prevention Foundation, a Rajkot Cancer Society subsidiary, received funds to assist in its cancer prevention and awareness drive. 

ED in Action 

The Kundaria Cancer Prevention Foundation hosted more than 100 cancer awareness activities with more than 48,000 attendees. It also administered more than 70 screening programs, resulting in 1,451 mammo-sonographies, 1,118 Pap smears, and 1,196 Gardasil vaccinations for the prevention of cervical cancer in girls and women.  

The equivalency determination from NGOsource provided the Rajkot Cancer Society access to funding that will benefit its patients and community for years to come. NGOsource is inspired by and grateful to have certified Rajkot Cancer Society through the ED process, allowing it to continue its invaluable work. 

If you are a foundation or donor-advised fund interested in supporting the Rajkot Cancer Society or other international NGOs like it, we'd love to hear from you

We thank Gaurang Sanghavi for his contributions to this article.