GUWAHATI, July 10 � Dr B Borooah Cancer Institute today achieved another important milestone with the inauguration of Bhabhatron-II telecobalt facility by Dr Ratan Kumar Sinha, chairman, Atomic Energy Commission, Government of India. Bhabhatron-II is designed and developed by Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and one of the state-of-the-art machines currently available in the country.
Dr RK Sinha, a mechanical engineer from Patna University became director of BARC in 2010. He was director of the Reactor Design and Development Group and the Manufacturing and Automation Group at the BARC. Along with the former chairman of Atomic Energy Commission, Anil Kakodkar, he was one of the key designers of the Advanced Heavy Water Reactor (AHWR), which will use thorium, which is abundantly available in the country. He has designed and developed the Indian high temperature reactor for generating hydrogen which is termed �the fuel of the future�.
With the commissioning of new machine, Dr B Borooah Cancer Institute now has three linear accelerators, two telecobalt machines and one high dose rate brachytherapy machine. Earlier, about 300-325 patients were treated daily with these machines. It is hoped that the Institute will be able to treat about 400 patients daily and the waiting period for radiotherapy will be reduced to a great extent.
In his welcome address, Dr AC Kataki, director, BBCI stated that as per National Cancer Registry Programme of ICMR, incidence of cancer in Assam is third highest in the country after Mizoram and Meghalaya. Cancer of the hypopharynx, tongue, mouth and ovary in female, cancer of the tonsil, prostrate and gall bladder in Assam is highest in the country. About 800 cases of oesophageal cancer is seen at BBCI every year. Total number of cancer patients in Assam is highest than the other north-eastern States all taken together. Dr B Borooah Cancer Institute caters to the need of the entire north-eastern region.
Dr RK Sinha in his inaugural speech expressed immense satisfaction at the facilities available in the Institute. The Department of Atomic Energy, Govt. of India is contributing 50% of the capital expenditure of the Institute. Dr Sinha assured all possible help to develop Dr B Borooah Cancer Institute into a Centre of Excellence for cancer treatment, education and research. Dr Sinha also delivered the 6th Dr KC Borooah Foundation Day Oration of the Institute. He dwelt on the progress made by Department of Atomic Energy in last 60 years, its role in nuclear energy, food and agriculture technology, water resource, industrial management, health, power and security sector was highlighted.
Jitesh Khosla, Chief Secretary, Government of Assam was present as the guest of honour. Khosla stressed on developing Dr B Borooah Cancer Institute into a Central Institute of Excellence in view of high incidence of cancer and limited cancer treatment facilities in Assam and north-eastern region. He assured all possible help to the Institute.
Dr CBS Venkataramana, Addl. Secretary, department of Atomic Energy, Govt of India; Sanjeeva Kumar, Principal Secretary, Health & Family Welfare Department, Govt of Assam; Dr RA Badwe, director, Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai and Dr Bamin Tada, adviser (Health), North Eastern Council, Shillong attended the programme as esteemed guests.
A quarterly bulletin Sounds of Soul and BBCI News Bulletin were also released during the inaugural programme.