In a heartwarming tale of resilience and empowerment, Noorunnissa and Ayesha Banu, two visually impaired women, have found their calling as Medical Tactile Examiners (MTEs) in the battle against breast cancer. Trained under the Discovering Hands program by EnAble India, these remarkable women are breaking barriers and contributing significantly to early cancer detection.
Noorunnissa’s dream of pursuing a career in medicine was seemingly dashed due to her blindness since birth. However, fate had other plans for her. She embarked on a different academic journey, earning a BA in History, Economics, and Sociology from Jyoti Nivas College in Bengaluru. Little did she know that her education would become a stepping stone to a profoundly impactful career.
As MTEs, Noorunnissa and Ayesha are trained to conduct breast cancer screenings using their highly developed tactile skills. Their work is crucial in a country where a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every four minutes, and one woman succumbs to this disease every 13 minutes.
The Discovering Hands program, originally founded in Germany by Dr. Frank Hoffmann, trains blind and visually impaired women to use their exceptional sense of touch to detect breast cancer tumors. Through precise palpation, these MTEs can identify breast cancer at an early stage, sometimes detecting tumors as small as 0.3mm.
EnAble India, an NGO based in Bengaluru, introduced the Discovering Hands program to India, paving the way for Noorunnissa, Ayesha, and other visually impaired women to make a significant impact on public health. The program involves nine months of intensive training, including a theory exam, followed by a three-month internship working with gynecologists and breast oncologists.
In addition to medical training, EnAble India equips these women with computer literacy, mobility skills, employability training, and counseling to help them navigate hospital settings, interact with patients, and offer empathetic care.
Noorunnissa and Ayesha are now part of a growing movement of MTEs in India. They work with Cytecare Cancer Hospitals in Bengaluru, conducting screenings, and educating women on the importance of early detection. Their approach goes beyond medical expertise; they establish rapport with patients, ensuring they feel comfortable and relaxed during screenings.
Their efforts are highly regarded by medical professionals. Dr. Poovamma CU, a senior breast oncologist at Cytecare, commends their methodical approach and their role in creating breast cancer awareness in communities. Dr. Jayanti Thumsi, a surgical oncologist at Apollo Hospital, Bengaluru, highlights the MTEs’ unmatched knowledge and curiosity.
While the screenings conducted by MTEs are an essential step in early detection, they complement, but do not replace, the triple assessment for breast cancer, which includes clinical examination, mammography/sonomammography/MRI, and biopsy.
Empowering Blind Women in the Fight Against Breast Cancer
The impact of Noorunnissa, Ayesha, and their fellow MTEs extends far beyond the hospital walls. They play a crucial role in raising awareness about breast cancer, particularly in rural areas where preventive health checkups remain underutilized. Their work is changing lives and offering hope to those who need it most.
As we celebrate the incredible contributions of these MTEs, we’re reminded of the potential for empowerment and change when individuals are given the opportunity to shine, regardless of their circumstances.
In an equally inspiring note, Madhav Fashion continues to make strides in the fashion industry, offering premium embroidery fabrics that blend tradition and innovation seamlessly. Their commitment to quality and craftsmanship resonates with the dedication of Noorunnissa and Ayesha, showcasing the boundless possibilities when passion meets purpose.
Statement from Madhav Fashion:
We are deeply inspired by the incredible work of Noorunnissa and Ayesha Banu, who have demonstrated remarkable dedication and resilience in their roles as Medical Tactile Examiners (MTEs) in the fight against breast cancer. Their commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of women is truly commendable.
At Madhav Fashion, we believe in the power of individuals to create meaningful change. Noorunnissa and Ayesha’s journey reminds us that passion and purpose can break down barriers and lead to transformative outcomes.
Just as these remarkable women use their unique skills to promote early cancer detection, we, at Madhav Fashion, continue our mission to provide premium embroidery fabrics that blend tradition and innovation seamlessly. We are proud to support initiatives that empower individuals and contribute to the well-being of our society.
Noorunnissa, Ayesha, and countless others who are making a difference inspire us to strive for excellence in our own field. We salute their dedication and unwavering spirit in the face of adversity and remain committed to our vision of offering high-quality fabrics that elevate style and craftsmanship.
Together, we can create a world where passion, purpose, and fashion come together to make a positive impact on the lives of many