KOCHI: Health Additional Chief Secretary Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Sunday unveiled the essential details of the policy document on the strategy of the state to fight cancer till 2030 which has been prepared in association with the World Health Organisation. He was at a function to lay the foundation stone for the Cochin Cancer Research Centre (CCRC) in Kalamassery. The document was released by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan by handing over a copy to health minister K.K. Shylaja.
Mr Rajeev Sadanandan said that one of the major thrust of the strategy is to harp on prevention and early detection. “Though the incidence of the disease is higher in western countries compared to us, the mortality is less since most of the cases are detected early. So we are also looking at detecting the disease early so as to create more survivors,” he said. He said that doctors will be given training in this regard and the services of Kerala University Health Sciences will be roped in for this. He also said that students from the school level will be educated on the disease with special classes.
“They will also be taken to hospitals to see for themselves and learn about the disease and about methods for prevention including lifestyle corrections,” Mr Rajeev Sadanandan said. The health secretary said that while 36 per cent of other patients in the state depended on government hospitals, it was 66 per cent in the case of cancers. He also said that detecting cancers in children was easier than others and hence it will be given focus in the strategy. Palliative care also will be another area of focus in the action plan and strategy. He also said that schemes are being devised to cover the treatment cost as well.