Badal calls for cancer free Punjab
By Ravinder Singh Robin, Chandigarh, Feb. 6 : Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has asked the state's Department of Health and Family Welfare to make concerted efforts for a cancer-free region.
Interacting with Punjab Health and Family Welfare Minister Madan Mohan Mittal and top brass of the department after receiving a survey report from them titled "Statewide Door-to-Door Campaign - Cancer Awareness and Symptom-Based Early Detection", Badal reiterated the firm commitment of SAD-BJP Government to eradicate cancer from the state.
He categorically said the second phase of this ambitious program should be solely aimed towards checking the spread of this lethal disease. Expressing concern over the fact that 34430 people in the state have lost their lives in the last five years due this disease, Badal said that sustainable efforts should be made to avert any such deaths in the future.
Badal said that as per the survey, around 97 percent of the population of the state has been covered by the health department, which now has a concrete database to provide timely treatment to patients.
Badal directed the department to make sure that proper treatment is provided to the 24659 persons reported as suffering from the disease, besides ensuring suitable diagnostic facilities to 87403 people suffering from cancer. He also asked the department to lay thrust on areas where high concentration of cancer cases had been detected to contain the spread of the disease.
Badal said that the state government is fully sensitized towards checking the spread of this disease.
He hoped the recent decision of the Cabinet to set up a dedicated fund for eradicating cancer from the state would prove to be another milestone in the state government's crusade against this disease.
Badal said that as the treatment of cancer was very costly, the health department must make sure that every cancer patient is provided immediate assistance from the Chief Minister's Cancer Relief Fund.
Welcoming the extensive survey, Badal hoped it would go a long way in ensuring early detection of cancer for its timely treatment.
Badal, however, said that the survey was only a preliminary task to deal with this crucial problem.
Badal asked department officials to work dedicatedly for the routing out of cancer from the state.
On his part, Mittal apprised the Chief Minister about the fact that over 40,000 trained field workers had accomplished this task by visiting 5158154 houses across the state.
He said this pilot project of the state government would prove to be a landmark in Punjab government's battle against cancer. The project, he added, has been completed in a record time of one month.
Principal Secretary Health and Family Welfare Vinnie Mahajan, Special Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister K.J.S. Cheema, Executive Director State Health Systems Resource Centre Dr. Pyare Lal Garg and Director Health and Family Welfare Dr Ashok Nayyar were also present on the occasion.