State spending Rs 22 cr annually on cancer patients
KOHIMA, OCTOBER 10
PRINCIPAL Director, Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Neiphi Kire disclosed that Nagaland is spending over Rs 22 crore annually on cancer patients, who are employed under the government sector, as medical reimbursements.
He said this while delivering the welcome address at the one-day Awareness & Prevention Programme on Pre-Cancer (Cervix) held at the conference hall, HLR Centre NHAK, Kohima.Dr. Neiphi also disclosed that those who are not working under the State government are spending up to Rs 60 crore on their own, without any aid. He asserted that though there are many victims of cancer in Nagaland, the State is not able to bring out a way to address this emerging health issue due to many constraints.
He regretted that owing to technical reasons, the cancer hospital in Mokokchung is yet to be set up. “Therefore, we have to send out so many patients out of the State for treatment,” he said.
He also disclosed that the State government, taking note that the establishment of a cancer hospital in the State is of utmost importance in the health sector, is trying to collaborate with a national private hospital to this end.
Additional chief secretary (ACS) and commissioner Nagaland, Banuo Z Jamir, who graced the closing function of the programme as the chief guest, said cancer cases will not be a failure if awareness information on the disease is generated. The ACS, who is a cancer survivor herself, expressed happiness to learn that Nagaland has opened its chapter of National Cancer Control Programme.
She also emphasized on giving more importance to cancer in the health sector, asserting a strong decision needs to be taken by the State government to make cancer as a notifiable disease.
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Jamir pointed out the need to educate the people with the correct figures and SHGs and added that the church can disseminate the message of awareness at village levels.
Stating that after HIV and AIDS, she said next emphasis should be given to cancer while assuring that cancer society in the State gets registered by December.
The ACS also underscored the need for counseling centres for caregivers of cancer patients. “In a way, caregivers undergo much more than the patients,” she stated. “Cancer treatment being very expensive, if we can bring the treatment home then it will help our people,” she added.
Meanwhile, Jamir acknowledged the director ICU, NHAK Dr. Sentiyanger and staff for putting up service of an international standard and expressed hope that others will also emulate the same.
Principal Investigator, Population Based Cancer Registry Dr. V. Khamo and Senior Gynaecologist NHAK, Dr. Atoshe Sumi gave presentations on the cancer scenario in Nagaland with special emphasis on cervix cancer.
The programme was attended by doctors from different hospitals from Kohima and other districts as well as government officials.