Home Governance No cancer hospital in Bargarh despite CM’s announcement

No cancer hospital in Bargarh despite CM’s announcement

After the chief minister announced that a cancer hospital would be set up in Bargarh, a team of 3 doctors had visited the place on 6th February to assess the land for the same, but there has been no progress since then...

On his last visit to the Bargarh district on 21st  January 2020, Odisha’s Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik, had declared that a cancer hospital would be built in Bargarh, to cater to the treatment of all cancer patients in the district. During his visit, he had also inaugurated the new six-storied building of the Bargarh district headquarters hospital, which has 300 beds and around 45 crores have been spent on constructing it.

No progress on the project

Despite CM’s announcement for a dedicated cancer hospital at the beginning of the year, there has been no progress in the project. A team of 3 doctors had visited the district to identify and assess the land for the project on 6th February. After this, the project has not moved an inch forward.

VIMSAR, at Burla, is the nearest hospital that provides cancer treatment to the people of Bargarh. But it has very limited facilities. So, the cancer patients visit Acharya Harihar Regional Cancer Centre (AHRCC) in Cuttack or Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai for check-up and therapy, as alternatives.

Wait and watch

In this dreadful pandemic situation, travelling to Mumbai for cancer treatment can prove dangerous, and the OPD of AHRCC was shut down recently after 38 people were found positive with the COVID-19 virus in the hospital. So, a large number of cancer patients have nowhere to go now except to wait and watch where their fate takes them.

Basanta Sahu, a cancer patient who has been seeking treatment at AHRCC for the past eight years said, “I used to visit the hospital once every three months and get my medicines after consulting the doctors. Now, I am having a tough time visiting Cuttack and the closure of OPD of AHRCC has only made matters worse.” 

Private hospitals not an option

Private hospitals are not an option for many patients because of their economic status. Concerning this, the founder of the Fighters group of cancer survivors, Aswini Kumar Darjee, said, “Treatment of cancer at private hospitals is costly and under such circumstances, the Government should initiate the process of setting up a dedicated cancer hospital in the district.”

Every year, out of the total number of cancer cases detected in Odisha, more than 60% are from western Odisha. And the majority of the cancer patients of western Odisha are found in Bargarh district. This district has been reporting a large number of stomach cancer cases. The number of female cancer patients is higher than males in Bargarh.

Current situation

In this district, almost all families are engaged in agriculture, being exposed to various strong pesticides and fertilisers which might be harmful to human health. The industrial discharge into water bodies makes the water unfit for human consumption. These harmful substances when inhaled or consumed may cause destructive mutations in one’s body, which leads to cancer. The farmers produce food for all of us, as a consequence, they develop cancer and they cannot even avail the basic treatment to save their lives! This indeed is a pathetic situation for all of us.

Also read : National Cancer Awareness Day: Spreading the word across India

In the current situation, where the COVID-19 virus is gradually engulfing the world, all the persons who have co-morbidities (co-occurrent diseases) are facing a greater threat. When people having one or more pre-diagnosed health issues, detect positive for the virus, their survival chances decline, as most of them cannot cope up. For instance, when people are already having cancer and undergoing treatment, acquires the virus, they are expected to succumb to it easier than a healthy person. In such a scenario it is high time that the state government has to establish the promised cancer hospital as soon as possible, to save the lives of our people.

Shalini Koppula
Hi, I am Shalini Koppula, a student of Xavier law school Bhubaneswar. I'm a socially driven writer and an enthusiastic reader. I want to advocate optimism through my work, and layout peace and love!

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