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Meghalaya observes National Cancer Survivors Day, raises awareness

Meghalaya observes National Cancer Survivors Day, raises awareness

The Civil Hospital, Shillong and State Cancer Society, Meghalaya marked National Cancer Survivors Day on June 12, honouring survivors and raising awareness about cancer. Dignitaries, including Health Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh, reiterated the government's commitment to cancer care.

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The Civil Hospital, Shillong and State Cancer Society, Meghalaya observed ‘National Cancer Survivors Day’ at the DAE-Civil Hospital Cancer Wing, on June 12 to honour the strength and resilience of cancer survivors, while also raising awareness about the ongoing battle against cancer in the region.

Dignitaries in attendance include Ampareen Lyngdoh, Meghalaya Health and Family Welfare Minister; Sampath Kumar, IAS, Principal Secretary, Department of Health and Family Welfare and Chairman; State Cancer Society of Meghalaya, Dr Joram Beda, IAS, Commissioner & Secretary, Health & Family Welfare, Dr. F.V. Kharshiing, Director, Health Services (MI), among others.

Earlier, in February, Meghalaya hosted the Meghalaya Cancer Conclave with the theme “Close The Care Gap” which witnessed a gathering of key stakeholders, including oncologists, cancer researchers, scholars, NGOs, top bureaucrats amongst others with a focus on addressing the disparities in cancer care and ensuring equitable access to treatment for all.

Ampareen Lyngdoh in her keynote address stated that the government is committed to ensure that people are provided with the best possible treatment for cancer, adding, “We have a long journey ahead, we shall not stop, we shall not say that we have done it all. Together this government will serve the people. It is not individuals, or ministers or any other doctor or staff, but together we will fight this.”

Principal Secretary Sampath Kumar, said that the key message is that awareness is very important. “The cancer wing of Civil Hospital, Shillong is providing care for more than 7000-8000 patients every year, which is a massive effort done by the government, and most of the budgetary expenditure that Meghalaya is spending, which is almost close to 9 percent of the state budget is on health care,” he informed.

Dr. F.V. Kharshiing, Director, Health Services (MI), emphasised on the importance of continued support for cancer patients and the importance of combined efforts.

The programme also saw testimonies given by cancer survivors. One of the cancer survivors stated that she is thankful to doctors and healthcare providers at Civil Hospital, Shillong who provided her with the best treatment. 

Guided by the State Cancer Society, the Government of Meghalaya in collaboration with Apollo Telemedicine Foundation and the World Economic Forum, in May 2023, launched the ‘Megh Can Care’ program with the aim to screen people for cancer and mobilise them for early diagnostics and treatment and enhance a responsible system of care delivery. 

The government has also launched a cancer helpline number 14410 to avail free screening.

Edited By: Avantika
Published On: Jun 12, 2024