Australian Consulate-General
Chennai, India

Media release

8 March 2016                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   PA-CN/16/09

Australia Assists Mobile Cancer Screening on International Women’s Day


To mark International Women’s Day, the new Australian High Commissioner-designate for India, Ms Harinder Sidhu, opened a mobile cancer screening camp for women at Express Avenue Mall, using technology provided under a grant from the Australian Consulate-General in Chennai.

“The Australian Government is strongly committed to improving the lives of women and girls around the world,” Ms Sidhu said. “Good health is central to the wellbeing and empowerment of women. I warmly welcome this initiative to offer mobile cancer screening to women who may not always have access to early medical care.”

The screening camp, supported through a grant from the Consulate-General’s Direct Aid Program (DAP), was organised by the Women for Wellness Centre, Penn Nalam Hospital.  100 women were provided with medical examinations for general wellbeing as well as cancer screening free of cost.

The Camp is the latest in a series of collaborations with Penn Nalam Hospital under DAP.

The Consulate-General previously provided a grant of INR 9 lakhs to purchase a new Computed Radiography unit as part of the mammography section for the hospital’s mobile cancer screening van. The van provides a variety of subsided services for women, including breast cancer screening, pap smears, cervical cancer vaccinations and blood testing.

“The Penn Nalam cancer screening van is saving lives on a daily basis, particularly amongst Tamil Nadu’s underprivileged who might otherwise not have access to such services,” said Mr Sean Kelly, the Australian Consul-General for South India. “I am particularly proud of the fact that the cervical cancer vaccinations provided by Penn Nalam Hospital is actually a world-leading Australian innovation of Professor Ian Frazier of the University of Queensland”.

Renowned South Indian actor, Ms Gautami Tadimalla, herself a breast cancer survivor, was also present at the inspection and shared her experience and perspective on the importance of early medical screening to detect and treat cancer.

Further information on the Australian Consulate-General’s Direct Aid Program can be found at: