Rising burden of cancer

Rising burden  of cancer

It is indeed welcoming that Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo has announced that the provincial government would bear the cancer treatment expenses of three young sisters from Pishin. The father of the girls met CM Bizenjo and informed him that his three daughters were suffering from cancer. The CM announced that the girls would be treated at the expense of provincial government. Unfortunately, the cases of cancer are rising very fast and most of the cancer patients don’t survive due to lack of testing and treatment facilities in Balochistan. Reportedly, cancer mortality in Pakistan, particularly in Balochistan, is high. About 35,000 cancer patients only from Balochistan undergo cancer treatment across the country where treatment and hospitalisation charges are not affordable for poor families. A large number of patients among them are women and children. The massive increase of cancer patients has become a serious concern for the doctors in Balochistan. Health department sources say more than 4000 patients annually diagnose with cancer in the province. Doctors are of the view that some causes of cancer in Balochistan are sub-standard food, use of narcotics, tobacco, poverty and low breast feeding in infants. Usually, patients diagnosed with cancer come from Chagai, Nushki, Mastung, Khuzdar, Zhob, Loralai, Chaman, Pishin, Punjagour and Gwadar districts. The cancer is curable in its early stages but it becomes complicated if not diagnosed and treated in early stages. According to Federal Ministry of National Health Services, the number of cancer patients is rising fast as every year 1,48000 people are being diagnosed with cancer and a large number of patients are women suffering from breast cancer. There is no special government run- hospital in Balochistan to treat cancer patients, however, a 20- bedded ward has been set up in BMC where cancer patients are being treated. Keeping in view the mounting number of cancer patients, the government should establish Awareness Centers at district level. In present situation, Balochistan strongly needs a cancer hospital as treatment of cancer patient is much expensive and the poor masses of Balochistan are unable to afford it without government support. It is impossible for people of remote areas to take their patients to Lahore or Karachi for regular treatment. The treatment of cancer being much expensive, most of patients seek government or philanthropists help and donations but very few lucky people can make it and the rest of patients die after discontinuation of treatment. This is a great opportunity for provincial coalition government, headed by Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo to establish a cancer hospital in Balochistan by drawing the attention of Centre towards this issue.