Sunday, February 5, 2023

Launch of Cancer Care, MCCD project in Nagaland


A State level programme on Medical Certification Cause of Death (MCCD) & Affordable Cancer Care (ACC)Project was launched at Hotel Vivor, here Wednesday by the special guest, chief secretary, J. Alam, IAS. The program was jointly organised by Tata Memorial Center (TMC), Department of Health & Family Welfare and Department of Economics & Statistics.
It may be recalled that the state government and the Tata Trusts signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2018 to implement a programme for providing comprehensive cancer care in the state. As per the MoU, the collaboration will build on the public healthcare system to make cancer care accessible and affordable.
State chief secretary, who launched the project spoke on how high cost care for treatment of major diseases like cancer was pushing many families to bankruptcy and how various insurance-based schemes are providing a gradual move towards universal health care system.
Alam also mentioned that affordability for treatment becomes a major issue and therefore, facilities with low-cost health and cancer care should be made available for the benefit of the citizens.
On ACC he said that as Nagaland has a high number of cancer patients, it was necessary that cancer care facilities be available and therefore, requested the Tata Memorial Center to set up a unit as part of a District hospital or a part of the upcoming medical college at Kohima.
On MCCD, Alam expressed the hope that the programme would help in sensitising people about the importance of issuing death certificates to help analyse the health trends of the State and lead to evidence based decision making. He said the launch of the project could make Nagaland among the first state to have such a health care system.
The chief secretary expressed hope that the orientation programme would assist the overall progress in the health sector and help increase the ranking of the State in the country.
Alam also mentioned that at the recently concluded Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) conclave, many companies came forward to take up projects in the State. He disclosed that out of the 79 projects worth Rs 50 crore committed to the State, around 50% of them worth Rs. 20 crore were in the health sector.
He said though the amount was not huge, yet any effort towards improving the health sector was welcome. He said that the government would accept any such projects without hesitation.
Alam said the two upcoming medical colleges, one in Kohima and the other in Mon, would also be additional assets for the health sector. According to Alam, 75% of the project for medical college in Kohima has been completed and the academic session was expected to begin by next year. He said Mon medical college could take some to be completed.
Later, Alam launched a manual book on Medical Certification of Cause of Death and Training Manual for Doctors.
Chemotherapy and radiotherapy centres: Earlier, delivering the keynote address, officer in charge, HBCH & RC Muzaffarpur, Dr. Ravikant Singh, said that the objective under ACC project and MCCD was to take cancer care services to district levels. For the first phase MCCD&ACC have identified Kohima and Mokokchung districts as their targeted intervention where they will be training all the medical staff on cancer screening process, and along with the Health &Family Welfare Department. Dr Singh also said MCCD & ACC will be setting up chemotherapy and radio therapy centres in the State.
Through MCCD, he said that government would have enough vital data to make policy level decisions in cases relating to health and other areas like vehicular, alcohol etc.
He also informed that TMC was under the Department of Atomic Energy, government of India and not under Tata Trust as was the common misconception.
He said the Affordable Cancer Care Project was fully supported by the Department of Atomic Energy.
Dr. Singh also pointed out that the alarming cases of cancer patients in the State was largely due to the rampant consumption of “gutkhas” and “pan masalas”.
He urged the state government to focus on those areas in order to bring down the disease.
Dr.Singh disclosed that only 7% of cancer deaths were given certification, which made Nagaland as among the lowest four in the overall country ranking.
On the other hand, he said neighbouring State like Manipur has a very high certification at 100%.
Dr. Singh informed that TMC would be setting up chemo and radio therapy centres in Kohima and Dimapur in its pilot project, which would later be extended to the other parts of the State.
Those centres, he said, would be able to help in early detection and basic treatment of the disease before the onset of the disease.
Dr. V. Khamo, Consultant, Naga Hospital, gave a brief presentation of pilot study on implementation of MCCD; Commissioner & Secretary, Economics & Statistics, Kevileno Angami presented a short remark on the importance of data collection of birth and death certificates, while Director of Economics & Statistics, Neidilhou Angami delivered the vote of thanks.

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