Assam: Doctor outgrows severe challenges in this part of the region to address Cancer!


The number of cancer detection has been rising epidemically in the state of Assam. Over the past 5 years, around 90000 cases of cancer patients have been reported in the state itself. The release of dioxin in the air through burning of municipal waste, hospital waste and automobile emission is the major cause behind the spread of cancer in the state. For the first time in the region, Guwahati had been upgraded to the latest facility of PET-CT (Positron Emission Tomography-Computed Tomography) scan machine worth around Rs 35 crore for detecting the disease. But, the scenario is different as one heads towards remoter parts in the state.

Barak Valley, on the Indo-Bangla border had very limited resources to address this pandemic need. Here's when entered Dr. Ravi Kannan of Chennai who created the radical shift in The Cachar Cancer Hospital Society. Dr. Kannan was a renowned oncologist at the Adyar Cancer Institute in Chennai before he moved to Sichar. Over the years, this doctor and his incredible team managed to turn the place around.  From 23 staff members there is a 200-member strong team now. The bed count has also gone up to 100 with 102 nurses. Every year, the hospital conducted a review and found that most patients didn't return a second time. This was because 80% of them were daily wage earners with Rs 3000 per month earning.

This is how the hospital "Satellite Clinics". The doctors started going to the villages to provide treatment to cancer patients. The patients do not have to pay for home-based care and follow up. The doctors also started providing phone consultations and stay in touch with patients who have returned home with prescriptions.

Dr. Kannan and his team also started employing those who come as attendants with the patients. These attendants do other small tasks and are now paid about 100 per day for their work. The hospital also has a desk in the outpatient department where the staff proactively assess the economic needs of the patients and assist them in getting treatment from the hospital at subsidized rates or for free.At present, the hospital has an annual inflow of 3,000 new and 14,000 follow-up patients. It also gets patients from other states, as well as from neighboring Bangladesh.

The hospital runs on the funds it receives from various organisations and individuals. A grant from the Indo-American Cancer Association helped establish the "Department of Pain and Palliative Care" in the hospital in 2011. A Department of Dental Surgery has also been set up which offers medicines at highly discounted prices. Dr Kannan's initiative towards reforming the entire scenario of healthcare has soon started to get recognition from all quarters. With such elevated spirits, he and his team are sure to set milestones in the healthcare sector.

– TNT News

(With inputs from – and TOI)

(Image courtesy – Internet)