IAGB Guest Column – Shazain Khan

This month features Shazain Khan, student and Executive Board member of the Umeed Club at Brown University. With Umeed, he raises awareness and funds for cancer patients in developing countries, currently with a focus on India. They also create multimedia that can be used to educate patients and caretakers about symptoms, side-effects, and treatment options.

Here is a message from him about the issue:

Within the last few decades, the nexus of low and middle income countries has experienced a worrying trend. Throughout these nations, along with the traditional “developing country” illnesses like malaria and other infectious diseases, ailments that have typically been linked to the West have seen a dramatic rise in Eastern countries like India.

In fact, 1 in 10 individuals in the developing world will develop a form of cancer in their lifetimes, with 1 in 15 individuals unfortunately succumbing to the disease. In India specifically, more than 1 million new cancer cases are registered each year with almost 800,000 deaths due to the disease per year. This issue is made more concerning by the prevalence of Covid-19 in the country, which has rocked the nation through multiple waves and killed hundreds of thousands. 

Covid has specifically been impacting cancer patients by taking away resources from these patients and causing them to be ignored by the medical system. Given that many cancer patients come from low-income backgrounds, the ability to financially sustain themselves with their disease becomes impossible.

It is crucial, now more than ever, for us as South Asians to come together and support our brothers and sisters back home who are suffering from both Covid and Cancer!

Find out more here:



–By Shazain Khan