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In SEARCH @ Gadchiroli
Collaborative Research with SEARCH

This early June we had the privilege to visit SEARCH (Society for Education, Action and Research in Community Health) campus (located in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra) to explore a research collaboration with super-heroes of rural health, Drs. Rani and Abhay Bang. After completing their respective Masters degrees in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University, they committed their entire lives for the upliftment of Gadchiroli's tribal folks. Their groundbreaking research has dramatically lowered infant mortality rates not only within local communities of Gadchiroli but across India and around the world. Over 35 years, they have helped save hundreds of thousands of lives and presented research based evidence to fight alcohol and tobacco addiction and infant mortality. The Lancet has honored the doctor couple as 'the pioneers of healthcare in rural India'. Learn more about their life's work here.
Research Focus
Our research with SEARCH will evaluate the "Feasibility of iBreastExam in an NGO Clinic in Rural setting". Together, we will understand the acceptability of a hand-held breast examination device, compare iBE performance as used by doctors Vs. social workers, evaluate the patient feedback post iBE examination, Measure the cost per woman screened and cost per yield of inducing iBE in NGO Clinic in Rural setting setting, assess follow-up adherence post abnormal iBE test and post abnormal FNAC test. This research will directly be applicable to policy and decision makers interested in adopting iBreastExam in similar settings.
iBreastExam Training & Evaluation
Over three days at SEARCH, we offered hands-on training to 3 doctors and 2 social workers on how to operate the iBreastExam device. 75 women visiting Danteshwari Clinic took the breast examination. 10 women were identified with breast lesions, of which 7 lesions were non-palpable by doctors and social workers under training. Dr. Rani Bang however was able to confirm these smaller lesions upon careful breast examination in the area where iBreastExam made a finding. Lesions as small as 0.5cm were identified during the training sessions.

Watch Mangala Patil (a social worker for over 20 years at SEARCH), describe her training experience.
An interview with Dr. Rani Bang
Below is an impromptu and unedited interview with Dr. Rani Bang about the importance of early detection of breast cancer and her thoughts on iBreastExam, training to her doctors and social workers and the clinical experience of using iBreastExam in her clinic for three days.


Drs. Rani and Abhay Bang's life, their story, their journey is enormously inspiring and exemplary by any standard. Here are some pictures from the serene and tranquil campus of SEARCH, named "Shodhgram" (meaning Research Center). Each photograph offers a glimpse into the lives and environment of the residents and researchers at SEARCH.


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