GUWAHATI, May 9 - In view of the lockdown, Pratishruti Cancer and Palliative Trust has been getting large number of calls from cancer patients in distress in the last two months in its two helplines � 6001830079, 6001688341. Pratishruti has been providing all kinds of supports like chemotherapy, palliative therapy, investigation, follow up, tele consultation and guidance.
The Dr B Borooah Cancer Institute (BBCI) was closed down for outdoor patients yesterday after the relative of a staff tested positive for COVID-19. The staff colony of BBCI has been declared a containment zone. The only other institute where government collaboration is involved is State Cancer Institute at GMCH.
�Many patients are unable to visit BBCI or other cancer hospitals due to the lockdown and the changing scenario. We want to appeal to cancer patients undergoing treatment at various centres in Guwahati not to panic as we shall offer a helping hand for all cancer patients. By calling Pratishruti helplines, a patient will be able to talk and get connected to their own consultant for treatment or further guidance,� Dr Gayatri Gogoi, Honorary Programme Director of the trust said. This service is free.
The trust has got a total of 359 calls in 2020 and almost 200 patients� calls were registered after the lockdown was announced in the State.
�We have written to the DCs giving the details about the patients and they have requisitioned ambulances for them to come to Dibrugarh. At Dibrugarh, we are taking them to Atal Amrit Abhiyan accredited private hospitals and provided the required treatment or medication. In other cases, we are providing the necessary counselling over telephone, or even through video call. Normally, otherwise many patients used to travel down to Guwahati,� Dr Gogoi said.
Around 25 patients of Dhemaji alone were brought to Dibrugarh for treatment.
�From diagnosis to psychological counselling, pain management, facilitating appointments and arranging medicines, the trust is providing a host of services,� Dr Gogoi said, adding that 30 health volunteers have been engaged to interact with the patients and do the necessary follow-up.
Palliative home care is also being provided in the Dibrugarh region.
Some 45000 new cancer cases are detected in the region every year and 70 per cent at late stages resulting 50 per cent mortality.
The delayed diagnosis is due to the lack of awareness of cancer symptoms, poor access to affordable care and other psychological factors like fear and fatalism.
Pratishruti Cancer and Palliative Trust was established on December 15, 2017 with an objective to provide support to cancer patients in respect of cancer care including palliative care. They have two cancer helplines to answer patients in need at any point of time to counsel, guide, refer, arrange appointment and offer social support.