Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has said attention should be given not only to the curative but also to the preventive measures in cancer treatment.
Addressing the international conference on challenges on controlling cancer in developing countries that commenced here from Thursday, he said the number of cancer patients was on the increase due to the unhealthy lifestyle and food.
The conference is organised by Nepal Cancer Relief Society in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, UICC and Cancer Council Australia. It will conclude on January 20.
“It is necessary that we adopt a healthy lifestyle. The government has made provision of providing Rs 5,000 to people suffering from cancer, spinal injury and kidney diseases. I hope this allowance will be of some help,” the PM stated.
Health Minister Deepak Bohora said that the government will prepare the draft of the law for increasing tobacco tax to minimize smoking and tobacco consumption which is the main cause of cancer, and the new government will pursue this law.
Former Health Minister Giriraj Mani Pokharel said the non-communicable diseases were increasing in the developing countries and this posed a health challenge.
President of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), Prof Sanchia Aranda and UICC international advisor Prof Jeff Don said they were impressed after observing the works done by the cancer hospitals in Nepal. They also expressed concern that the non-communicable diseases were increasing in the developing countries and it has become a big problem and a lot of money was spent on this.
World Health Organisation (WHO) representative for Nepal, Dr Jos Vandelaer said cancer was the cause of death of 700,000 to 800,000 people in the world annually, and that 75 percent of the total deaths due to cancer occurred because of lack of money for treatment. He stressed that it was necessary for the countries of the developing world to deliberate on the issue as many people in most of the developing countries were not in a position to afford cancer treatment.
Oncologist and chief of the conference organizing committee, Dr Rajendra Prasad Baral said the conference will be focused on the theme of ways of controlling cancer in the developing countries.
Central president of Nepal Cancer Relief Society Lokendra Kumar Shrestha reiterated on the need of increasing tax on tobacco products as these are the main cause of cancer.
The conference brings together 250 people including oncologists, researchers, anti-cancer campaigners, nurses from more than 15 countries including America, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Britain, Cambodia, India, Myanmar, Malaysia, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Spain and Taiwan.