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WHO includes BBCI in its SE Asia network for child cancer services

 GUWAHATI, Aug 3 - The World Health Organization (WHO), on the recommendation of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, has selected city-based Dr B Borooah Cancer Institute (BBCI) for its South-East Asia Regional Practice Network for childhood cancer services, according to a statement issued today.

 The three other Indian medical institutions in the network are Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bengaluru, and Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi.

Besides, three centres from Indonesia and one each from Thailand, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Myanmar are part of this network of hospitals.

The WHO global initiative on childhood cancer was launched in September 2018 with the aim to increase the survival rate among children with cancer in the age group of 0-19 years to at least 60 per cent by the year 2030.

Children with cancer in low and middle income countries are four times more likely to die of the disease than children in high income countries. Capacity for childhood cancer response is also weak in most countries in the South East Asian region.

Dr Amal Chandra Kataki, Director of BBCI, said that more than 400 childhood cancer patients are treated at the hospital every year.

“Establishment of St Jude India Child Care Centre at BBCI in 2019, free treatment of childhood cancer patients under the Aparjeeya scheme of the Assam Gas Company Ltd, and the Atal Amrit Abhiyan and the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) schemes, has benefited a large number of childhood cancer patients and their families,” Dr Kataki said.

In association with Jiv Daya Foundation of USA, BBCI has dedicated staff for pediatric nutrition, infection control, and also medical social counsellors.

The Numaligarh Refinery Ltd, under its Corporate Social Responsibility scheme, has donated Rs 2 crore for upgradation of infrastructure facilities at the Pediatric Oncology division of BBCI.

“As many childhood cancer patients suffer from leukemia, a clinical hematologist has been appointed under the Department of Medical and Pediatric Oncology. For the first time, a two-year postgraduate fellowship in Pediatric Oncology has been started from the academic session 2020,” Dr Kataki added.

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