Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh launched in Shillong, capital of Meghalaya, the first of its kind, weeklong Cancer Care campaign in Northeast under the auspices of “North Eastern Council (NEC) – Pink Chain Cancer Conclave 2016”.
The campaign is being attended by Cancer specialists from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi and other parts of the country, and the weeklong programmes will include public education camps, academic discussions by medical experts and visits to educational institutions.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Jitendra Singh said, this initiative has been undertaken considering the fact that North Eastern States are recording a much higher prevalence of Cancer compared to most other States of the country. He said, based on the experience of this weeklong experiment in Meghalaya, similar campaigns will also be organized in other seven States of North-Eastern Region. One of the objectives of this initiative would also be to update the medical professionals of the region on the recent advances in Cancer treatment and control, he added.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that, beginning from January this year, an arrangement has been made with Adyar Cancer Institute, Chennai for imparting short-term six-month training in Cancer to selected Physicians and Surgeons from North-Eastern Region. The entire expenditure for this will be borne by the Ministry of DoNER and Adyar Cancer Institute, he said.
Dr Jitendra Singh also informed that Barooah Cancer Institute in Guwahati will shortly start superspeciality DM Medical Oncology and MCh Surgical Oncology courses in Cancer, in collaboration with the Tata Memorial Institute, Mumbai and Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India.
In an elaborate public awareness lecture on the subject of non-communicable diseases and Cancer, Dr Jitendra Singh sounded a note of caution and said that the awareness and public education should be “optimum”, which means that it should neither be too little nor too much, lest it should cause unwarranted alarm and apprehension in public psyche. What is important to understand is what are the early symptoms of disease which should not be left unattended and in case the symptoms appear, who is the right medical professional or medical center to be contacted, because majority of Cancers occurring today are absolutely curable, if detected at an early stage.
Health Minister of Meghalaya Mr. Alexander Laloo Hek and Secretary NEC Shri Ram Muivah, besides Cancer Specialists and Research Scholars from social sciences and journalism were also present during the inaugural session.