Cancer situation alarming in Nagaland

Kohima: Nagaland has been listed as one of the leading cancer affected states in India with reported detection rate of at least 500 new cases annually, but despite the alarming high cancer incidence there is still no cancer hospital in the State.

These statistics were revealed by the Officer of Cancer Control Programme Officer Nagaland Dr Hotokhu Chishi at the Cancer Awareness Programme held at Dimapur, where he revealed that 520 cases of cancer were detected in 2010 alone. Out of these, 348 were male and 172 female.

Among the cancers, stomach cancer has been found to be the most common, while the risk age group is 45 to 49 years. Over 80 per cent of the patients are detected with the disease at a late stage thereby needing longer period of treatment or lesser chances of survival.

He informed that during the year 2009-2010, there were 759 cases of cancer were detected in Nagaland out of which 491 patients were male and 268 female.

Resource person Dr R Medhi said cancer can be prevented and cured if detected in the early stage.

He also observed that the pattern of cancer in Nagaland is different from the mainland.

”If the disease is detected during stage-1 and stage-2, chances of cure are higher but if it reaches stage 3-4, chances of cure stands at 5 per cent only,” the doctor stated. He also noted that despite having a 19 lakh population, there is still no cancer hospital in Nagaland.

Strawberry become fodder for want of preservation: No one would believe it, but it is true that the high accessory fruit like strawberries are being fed to pigs in some parts of Nagaland for lack of post harvest technologies in preserving fruits and other agriculture products.

Speaking at a workshop on Packaging of Processed Fruits for Micro, Small and Medium Industries at Dimapur on Saturday, Nagaland Agriculture Production Commissioner and Principal Secretary (Agriculture) H K Khulu admitted that wastage of produce ”is very very high” in Nagaland and put it down to lack of post harvest technologies that gives rise to the scenario of strawberries being fed to pigs in some parts of Nagaland.

Pointing out that agricultural sector constitutes 24 per cent of the state GDP, he rued, ”Yet we do not see any of our produce in the market.”

Mr Khulu admitted that Nagaland still haven’t been able to ‘make much headway’ in Packaging Industry while conceding it as ‘one of the weakest link in the chain value.’ He said despite efforts from the Government we are yet to ‘dent even the domestic market’ not to talk of international markets”.

He attributed this largely to the fact that ”we still have not waken up to realities” as well as lack of private sector in the state. On this context, he urged entrepreneurs to come forward and get involved in the packaging aspect.

While insisting that there are numbers of credit and support schemes under various departments of the government, Mr Khulu reminded that ‘loans are not subsidies.’ Admitting that the state government is indeed embarrassed at the very low recovery of loans, Mr Khulu said, ”Remember loans are not subsidies, it has to be repaid.” (UNI)

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