Inaugurating the Golden Jubilee celebrations of Rao Hospital here, he said the landmark discovery in 1978 by Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards of the U.K. that a sperm and an egg could be fused together in a lab successfully revolutionised treatment for infertility.
Former Director of Medical Education Lalitha Ananthasubramaniam switched on the new mammography unit at the hospital. She spoke on the World Health Organisation’s emphasis on prevention of diseases. Stressing early detection or prevention, she said breast cancer was becoming increasingly prevalent. Self-examination was important for women, especially in the 20-39 age group. They should also undergo regular examination by a doctor thereafter. Mammography, which was being routinely done in the West was now being made available in India.
Director of the hospital Asha Rao said that her centre had been focusing on assisted reproduction and endoscopy and had now expanded its services to provide complete healthcare for women. The hospital had been able to bring joy in the form of a child to several couples through assisted reproduction.
Director of the hospital S.R Rao recalled the medical services of its founder Maj. R.S. Rao to Coimbatore in the Fifties when there were very few hospitals in the region. The hospital had continuously expanded its services to serve generations of patients. Breast cancer and cervical cancer together account for over 60 per cent of cancers in women. A vaccine was available now to prevent cervical cancer.
As part of the jubilee celebrations, the hospital launched two initiatives to serve the weaker sections: Project Meera, a breast cancer screening programme and Project Sharada, a cervical cancer prevention programme.