On a historical development Dr. Bhubaneswar Borooah Cancer Institute (BBCI) on the 27th November 2017 has become a central institute under the Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India and as a unit of Tata Memorial Center, Mumbai, following a decision of Cabinet Committee under the Chairmanship Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi. This landmark decision will pave the way for affordable cancer care comparable to premier cancer centers across the country. Established in 1973, BBCI caters to the need of the entire North Eastern (NE) states. In view of high incidence of cancer and limited cancer treatment facilities in the NE region, up gradation of BBCI will usher a ray of hope for cancer patients.
Out of 4.5 crore populations of the NE region, about 45,000 new cancer patients are diagnosed every year. Assam alone contributes to about to 35,000 new cancer patients a year. Cancer of esophagus, hypopharynx, and lung in men, and in women, cancers of breast, esophagus, uterine cervix, and gall bladder are very common, as per the report of Population Based Cancer Registry under Indian Council of Medical Research in Urban Kamrup region. Aizawl District of Mizoram has recorded the highest incidence of cancer followed by Papumpare District in Arunacahl Pradesh and East Khasi Hills, Meghalaya.
To commemorate the day, various activities were undertaken by the institute. A guest house for cancer patients, JironiGhar-II was jointly inaugurated by Dr.Rajendra A Badwe, Director, Tata Memorial Center, Mumbai and Shri Mervin S. Alexander, Joint Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India. A free lunch scheme called Annakut for all outdoor patients coming to BBCI was inaugurated in the AnnakutVihar under the auspices of Shri. Ram Gopal Harlalka in memory of his father Late M C Harlalka in collaboration with GLP Social Circle, which was also inaugurated by Dr Badwe.
To reduce the waiting time for chemotherapy patients, a Day Care Chemotherapy Ward in memory of Late Dr.Rajendra Kumar Bhuyan, former Professor of Anatomy, Gauhati Medical College was inaugurated under the auspices of ShrimatiPutaliBhuyan and family from Sivsagar.
Cancer is treated in a multi-disciplinary manner where all cases are discussed in presence of consultants to decide upon treatment. The existing tumor board hall was up-graded in memory Late Mungi Devi Goenka and Late Jeevan Ram Goenka under the auspices of SankarlalGoenka.
On the same day, Memorandum of Understandings were signed with St. Jude India Child Care for establishing a Home for Childhood Cancer patients, with the Department of Bioengineering and Biotechnology of Gauhati University for starting M.Sc in Cancer Biology, and with the Asian Institute of Nursing Education, Guwahati for starting one year Diploma in Oncology Nursing. Speaking on the occasion, Dr.Badwe had stated, this initiative will improve the standard of care as well as contribute to generate human resource in the field of Oncology and Research. On this occasion, a Maruti S-Cross car was donated by Shri AnupPoddar from Poddar Car World. The Poddar family is also providing free lunch to outdoor patients through AkshayPatra Foundation from time to time. All the donors were felicitated by the Dr.Amal Chandra Kataki, Director, BBCI in presence of distinguished guests. Assam Gas Company Limited presented a cheque of Rs.25.00 lakhs to BBCI as first installment for free treatment of childhood cancer patients to commemorate the celebration.
Dr.Badwe complimented all the employees of BBCI for their hard work and dedication, and hoped that the institute under the Department of Atomic Energy, (DAE) Government of India and Tata Memorial Center, Mumbai will achieve newer heights to offer evidence based cancer care with state of the art facilities. He also stated that within 4-6 months highly subsidized chemotherapy medicine will be made available to the patients. The Joint Secretary, DAE, Shri Alexander assured all possible support from the Government of India. He appreciated various academic courses conducted by the institute. Shri Abhay Kumar, Deputy Secretary (Finance), DAE appealed all the doctors and employees to offer cancer care with compassion and empathy, to make the lives of cancer patient meaningful. Shri Kumar appreciated the holistic approach adopted by the institute for the treatment of patients integrating various recreational programmes.
Dr.Amal Chandra Kataki, Director, BBCI in his address recollected the contribution made by the founder members of the institute. Dr Kataki appealed to the doctors to emulate the ideals of LokabondhuDr. Bhubaneswar Borooah, who was a great physician and philanthropist of Assam. He informed that an order has been placed for a state-of-the-art Linear Accelerator and a high-end CT Scan machine which will be commissioned within 3-4 months. This will reduce the waiting period for treatment. A High-Dose Radio-Isotope Therapy Ward will be inaugurated within one month which will be first of its kind in the entire North Eastern Region. Dr.Kataki expressed his gratitude to Shri SarbanandaSonowal, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam, Dr.Jitendra Singh, Hon’ble DoNER Minister, Dr.HimantaBiswaSarma, Hon’ble Health Minister of Assam, officials of the North Eastern Council, Government of Assam, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, Indian Council of Medical Research, Department of Biotechnology, and well-wishers from the public and media for realizing the dream of BBCI becoming central institute.