GUWAHATI, May 17 - The Department of Palliative Medicine, Dr B Borooah Cancer Institute (BBCI), Guwahati, in collaboration with Inner Vision, a voluntary organisation of Duni in Darrang, has started an initiative to rehabilitate people suffering from cancer by providing training on water hyacinth craft.
The training programme started on the BBCI campus for the patients and attendants today and it will continue till May 31. The training will be provided to 30 persons.
BBCI Director Dr AC Kataki inaugurated the programme and emphasised the importance of such skill development initiatives for cancer patients. He said that it was for the first time in the North East that such a programme had been initiated for the benefit of cancer patients in an institute.
“Rehabilitating cancer patients is an important part of palliative care. Treating cancer patients at the terminal stages requires an interdisciplinary team approach to provide the best of care for patients with life-threatening illnesses. Like palliative medicine, rehabilitation also uses an interdisciplinary approach to treat patients with chronic illnesses. Rehabilitation interventions can be beneficial in patients with late stage illnesses,” Dr Kataki said.
Rehabilitation may be useful in improving the quality of life by palliating function, mobility, activities of daily living, pain relief, endurance and the psyche of a patient while helping to maintain as much independence as possible, leading to a decrease in burden on care-givers and family. Rehabilitative services are underutilised in the cancer-care setting in Assam.
After cancer treatment, Dr Kataki added, patients may notice a difference in their physical, social, psychological, and work-related abilities. “Cancer rehabilitation helps a person with cancer regain and improve the abilities that may have changed after cancer treatment. The goal of rehabilitation is to help a person remain as independent and productive as possible,” he said.
In order to ease the pain and suffering of the cancer patients, the Department of Palliative Medicine, BBCI, is focusing on their rehabilitation in what ever way it can. The purpose of rehabilitation is to provide medical, emotional, financial and social aid to the poor and needy patients of cancer.
Water hyacinth (Eichhornia Crassipes), a weed which grows extensively on the flood plains of the North East, is neglected for several reasons. It chocks wetlands and degrades water quality and is a problem to pisciculture. However, NEDFi and the North Eastern Council (NEC) under the Ministry of Development of North East Region (DoNER) have successfully trained many rural artisans on the use of dried water hyacinth by a system of interlacing through which brilliant artifacts and accessories of great aesthetic appeal can be created. Eye-catching bags, pen stands, dustbins and caps are being deftly created by these rural artisans.
“Water hyacinth, which is found in abundance in water bodies of Assam and which is considered useless, has been converted to useful crafts like bags, pen stands, dining mats, hats, dustbins, etc., to provide the artisans earnings of Rs 15,000 to Rs 30,000 every month,” Dr Kataki said.
Rohini Deka, a cancer survivor who was treated at BBCI, and who is well trained in water hyacinth craft, attended the training and lauded the initiative taken by the institute to rehabilitate cancer patients.