Kohima: State level programme on Medical Certification Cause of Death (MCCD) & Affordable Cancer Care Project was launched at Hotel Vivor in Kohima by the Nagaland Chief Secretary J Alam today. The program was jointly organised by Tata Memorial Center, Department of Health & Family Welfare and Department of Economics & Statistics.
The Chief Secretary, while speaking on affordable healthcare, said that in many places, since high out-of-pocket expenditure is incurred by families, people are pushed to poverty while getting treatment for major diseases and this problem is also relevant in Nagaland. “But through various insurance based schemes there is a gradual movement towards Universal Health Care system,” he also said. He hoped that Nagaland would be one of the first States to have this system.
Alam then mentioned that affordability becomes a major issue, therefore, facilities with low cost health care and cancer care should be made available for the benefit of the citizens. He further said that since Nagaland has a high number of cancer patients, it is necessary that cancer care facilities be set up in the State and he requested the Tata Memorial Center to set up a unit which could be a part of a District hospital or a part of the upcoming medical college. In terms of MCCD, the Chief Secretary hoped that the programme would help in sensitising people about the importance of issuing death certificates which will help analyse the health trends of the State and will lead to evidence based decision making. The Chief Secretary also highlighted the major steps taken by the State Government in improving health facilities in the State in the last few years and the support provided by the Central Government in this regard.
Dr. Ravikant Singh, Officer in Charge HBCH & RC, in his keynote address, said that Tata Memorial Center is under the Department of Atomic Energy and is financially supported by CDC Foundation, USA.
On affordable cancer care project, Dr. Singh mentioned that their aim is to take cancer care services nearer to district levels and, for the first phase, they have identified Kohima and Mokokchung districts as their targeted intervention where they will be training all the medical staff on cancer screening process, and along with the Health &Family Welfare Department, he said that they will be setting up some chemotherapy centres in the State.
Secretary, Health & Family Welfare Department, AsanglaImti said that mortality statistics is essential for better planning, management of programme, formulation of policies and for undertaking controlled measures in an effective and planned manner. Any planned activities can be successful if only the statistical information is authentic and correct. She also said that Nagaland is at the bottom among the states in India as per MCCD report. She added that only through framing of a successful MCCD policy, the State can frame a robust health policy. Further, as per the data of cancer control programme, the cases of cancer are alarmingly increasing in the State and cancer treatment is expensive and prevention and early detection becomes very important to ease the financial burden of the patient. Therefore, she hopes that through the two programmes launched would be vital for Nagaland.