Centre approves third RCC in Northeast

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Agartala, Mar 26 : Union Health Ministry has approved the proposal of setting up Regional Cancer Centres (RCC) in Tripura today while assured that separate RCCs would be established in each of the NE states including Sikkim, besides providing adequate funds to the existing cancer hospitals of the region.

State Health Minister Tapan Chakraborty told UNI here today that the state government had been pursuing for RCC in Tripura since 2000 by upgrading the state cancer hospital, set up in 1980 and finally it emerged as 26th RCC in the country and 3rd in Northeast.

Mr Chakraborty said that NE states had separately proposed to set up statewise Cancer Research Centre under RCCs following the increasing incidences of cancer cases in NE and Ministry promised that Oncology departments in all government hospitals of the region would be up-graded.

To provide efficient and cost effective treatment to the cancer patients, Ministry had already recognised Dr B B Cancer Institute Guwahati, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences Imphal, Civil Hospital Mizoram, which were catering to the needs of the patients at present and now Tripura added in the list, he stated.

Meanwhile, health ministry record showed that total grant worth Rs 26.23 crore has been released to the NE states under various schemes of National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP), including grant of Rs 8.80 crore for RCCs, Rs 16.99 crore under Oncology wing development schemes and Rs 44 lakh under District Cancer Control Programme during past three years.

Population based Cancer Registry Programme of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) shows occurrence of oesophagus, lung, mouth, nasopharynx and stomach cancer are relatively higher in Northeastern states as compared to other parts of the country.

''Since health a state subject, ministry has asked the state governments to ensure that adequate facilities for early detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer and the centre is also supplementing the efforts of the states by providing financial assistance for setting up of RCCs and Radiotherapy units in government medical college hospitals'', the officials underlined.

"With the advise of union minister for Science &Technology we have already taken up the matter with Bhava Atomic Research Centre (BARC) while trying to develop infrastructure of radio technology in health sector, as Tripura belongs to cancer porne zone,'' minister Mr Chakraborty added.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has conducted a comprehensive study into the abnormal cancer growth in NE state during 2003-04, which revealed that Mizoram was the world"s second highest cancer cases.

According to the report of Development of Atlas of Cancer in India (DACI), Aizawl district has the highest Minimal Age Adjusted Incidence Rate (MAAIR) in India among women, followed by Serchhip district, which was also in Mizoram.

The study revealed, on an average about 40 people in a population of about a lakh suffer from stomach cancer in Northeast and 46 in Mizoram and this was only second to Japan"s statistics after analysing the data of 105 hospitals spread over 82 districts across the country.

Health ministry has been monitoring the states for the past five years since the time Aizawl Civil Hospital participated in a cancer in India Project under National Cancer Registry Programme in 2001, said a senior Oncologist of Tripura Dr Arup Roy Barman adding that in a population of about one lakh, 82 men and 72 women suffer from cancer in Northeast.


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