UK-based Centre for Health Research and Education (CHRE) has decided to set up a tobacco cessation clinic at the North East Cancer Hospital and Research Institute (NECHRI) in Jorabat on the outskirts of Guwahati to provide free treatment to cancer patients in the Northeast.
The announcement was made by NECHRI managing director and research head, Dr Munindra Narayan Baruah during a programme organized on the hospital premises to commemorate World Cancer Day.
Under an initiative of World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Union health ministry, as many as 18 tobacco cessation clinics have been set up in the country since 2002, including one in Mizoram and Assam (Guwahati).
The services offered at the clinics include individual intervention in the form of behavioural counseling, medication and nicotine replacement therapy.
The centres aim to create awareness about the negative effects of tobacco and tobacco cessation through awareness programmes, exhibitions training programmes on tobacco cessation for various professionals, and information booklets and manuals aimed at specific groups of the population.
The UK-based organisation will also conduct cancer awareness camps in various parts of the northeastern region. In all these camps, CHRE will provide free counseling and treatment to the cancer patients
"The growing number of cancer patients in the northeastern states has been a matter of concern for all. Oesophagal cancer cases are increasing in Assam and Meghalaya," said Dr Baruah, managing director of NECHRI."The growing number of cancer patients in the northeastern states has been a matter of concern for all. Oesophagal cancer cases are increasing in Assam and Meghalaya," Dr Baruah said.
"In Meghalaya, 123 cancer patients have been detected per 1 lakh individuals, as against 184 in Mizoram and 148 in Kamrup (Assam)," he said, adding that the number of stomach cancer patients has increased alarmingly in Mizoram.
Dr Baruah further said that this year, the initiative would be all about raising awareness regarding the equity gap that affects almost everyone, in high as well as low and middle-income countries, which is costing lives.
"The focus should be on the creation of infrastructure, trained manpower, cancer care experts and reducing the disparity between rural and urban sphere in terms of population," he stated.
In his address, NECHRI director Raj Changkakoty spoke on the institute's plan to set up the tobacco cessation clinic at NECHRI under the aegis of CHRE to create 'next generation cessation experts' for combating tobacco use.