Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma launched the Meghalaya Cancer Care or ‘Meg Can Care’ project for screening and early detection of Cancer at U Soso Tham Auditorium, Shillong.
The program is an initiative of the Government of Meghalaya in collaboration with the Apollo Telemedicine Foundation and the World Economic Forum. Also present on the occasion was Health Minister, Dr M Ampareen Lyngdoh.
Speaking at the launch, Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma, said that Meghalaya and specifically East Khasi Hills is ranked number two in the country in the incidence of cancer cases. “When it comes to oesophagus cancer, we are the number one and this is how serious the problem is, and that is why the government, the society and all of us have a very important responsibility on our shoulders to see that the number of cancer cases in the state come down and ensure that lives are saved and lifespan of the citizens increased,” he said.
He also informed that the approach of the government towards the health of a person is looking at the entire lifespan of a person right from conception and not only at just providing treatment when a person is ill. “Health starts right from the time of conception and largely depends on the lifestyle,” he added.
He also informed that the annual budget allocated to Health in Meghalaya has doubled over the last few years. He further stated that the Meg Can Care program is a great initiative by the Department of Health to be able to really make a difference.
“We have to realise that a large part of Health comes from lifestyle and early detection not only in Cancer but all other diseases and I urge the citizens from Meghalaya especially East Khasi Hills that we need to take this seriously and if detected early 80 per cent of cancer cases are curable hence it is absolutely necessary that screening and detection must take place,” he said.
The Chief Minister also informed that the screening under this program is technically advanced with a capable team handling the project and urged the citizens to make use of the early detection and screening program.
Earlier, Principal Secretary of Health, Sampat Kumar informed that only 16 per cent of cancer patients were aware that there is a Screening process for Cancer. “A lot of people are not aware that Cancer can be screened early and if detected early 80 per cent of the cases can be cured,” he said. He also informed that over 10 per cent of deaths that are occurring in the State due to non-communicable diseases are due to cancer.
Earlier, the Chief Minister also launched the Cancer Helpline number 14410 and chose 5 for information on Cancer. He also flagged off the Cancer Ambassador cyclists.
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