Andhra Pradesh government ramping up health infra in wake of rising cancer cases

The government is setting up three apex centres connecting them with old and upcoming new medical colleges to handle the burden with the right approach of accessibility, availability and affordability
Image used for representational purpose only. (File Photo)
Image used for representational purpose only. (File Photo)

VIJAYAWADA: As Andhra Pradesh has a high number of cancer cases as reported by the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study in India, the State government has begun implementing the ‘Healthy State’ concept to compensate for the lack of good hospitals after the bifurcation of the State. Already the 200-bedded cancer hospital in Kurnool has been upgraded for advanced radiation, medical, surgical and nuclear medicine treatments.

The Medical and Health Department has started the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS), for creating awareness among people on screening and treatment of the diseases. According to the latest report of the GBD study, conducted by the US-based Health Effect Institute (HEI), the age-standardised incidence rate of cancer was estimated to be 93.3 per 1 lakh population in 2016. The incidence rate was the highest in stomach cancer.

As per the report, cancer screening rate in Andhra Pradesh is less than 5 per cent. The study predicts that the State will witness a 132% increase in the number of cancer patients by 2030 from that in 2021. By the end of 2022, AP will have 1,57,023 cancer patients, the study says. However, state officials disagree with the study results.

The government is setting up three apex centres connecting them with old and upcoming new medical colleges to handle the burden with the right approach of accessibility, availability and affordability. The officials say that the follow up treatments for chemo and palliative care will be localised, with 50 km distance for any patient.

According to YSR Aarogyasri Trust of Andhra Pradesh, the State has 1,31,345 cancer survivors in 2021-22. There are 33,530 breast cancer survivors, cervix 18,956, oral cavity 2,492, bone tumour 481, cardiothoracic 64, CNS 1,992, colorectal 10,352, gastric 4,875, genitourinary 2,324, GIT 4,006, gynaecology 7,022, head & neck 1,183, hemato oncology 22,393, lung 5,110, musculoskeletal 518, multiple myeloma 7,338, other palliative chemo 5,112, paediatric cases 2,274, prostate 529 and urology 794.

The Medical and Health department began a comprehensive training for a total of 8,351 Middle-level Health Providers (MLHP) and 2,636 Medical Officers (MOs) on the prevention and control of common cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and stroke as a part of the NPCDCS.

The training by experts, which started on June 20, will be conducted at 79 facilities such as 51 area hospitals, 17 district hospitals and 14 teaching hospitals across the State. They will be given training on visual inspection, clinical breast examination and treatment protocol. In this 5-day training, 379 MLHPs and 79 MOs were trained till date.

Before the training programme, the government conducted the NCD survey across the State, during which 63.17 lakh people were tested. About 49 lakh hypertension cases and 40 lakh diabetes cases and 50,000 suspected oral, breast and cervical cancer patients were found.Speaking to TNIE, Special Secretary, Medical, Health and Family Welfare GS Naveen Kumar said, “The government is approaching cancer care in a comprehensive manner.”

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