Meghalaya Cancer Conclave 2024, themed “Close the Care Gap” was inaugurated today in Shillong. Organised by the state government, in collaboration with Apollo Telemedicine Networking Foundation (ATNF), the conclave was chaired by Ampareen Lyngdoh, Minister of Health and Family Welfare.
Bringing together oncologists, researchers, scholars, NGOs, industry leaders, bureaucrats, and media, the conference aims to address the challenges and explore innovative solutions in cancer care.
Speaking at the conclave, Lyngdoh emphasised the need for unity among stakeholders to effectively address the challenge of cancer. She stressed the importance of action over mere discussions, advocating for the extension of the Meghalaya Health Insurance Scheme (MHIS) to provide financial assistance to affected families.
“Prevention is paramount, and early detection is key to combating this dreadful disease. Every citizen of the state should be relieved of the burden of cancer care, and patients must feel secure during their treatment,” she said.
Principal Secretary of Health and Family Welfare, Sampath Kumar, IAS, stressed the need for comprehensive solutions in cancer care. He highlighted the importance of actionable strategies to make a tangible impact. “Together, we envision a Meghalaya where every citizen has access to the highest standards of cancer care, and this conclave is a pivotal step in that direction,” he stated.
Ram Kumar S, IAS, Secretary of Health and Family Welfare Department, emphasised the commitment to enhancing cancer care infrastructure and outcomes. “Cancer is a formidable adversary, and tackling it requires a united front. Our shared vision of a comprehensive and accessible cancer care system aligns perfectly with the goals of the Meghalaya Cancer Conclave 2024. This collaborative effort reflects our commitment to leveraging technology, fostering innovation, and driving positive outcomes in the landscape of cancer care,” he said.
Prem Anand, Chief Business Officer of Apollo Telemedicine Networking Foundation, expressed pride in supporting the initiative. He emphasised the importance of collaboration in driving positive outcomes in cancer care.
Key discussions at the conclave will include early diagnosis, access to quality treatment, cancer epidemiology, technology-enabled screening, supportive care, research, and survivorship.
The Meghalaya Cancer Conclave 2024 builds upon the ‘Meg Can Care’ project launched in 2023 by Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, reflecting a commitment to screening and early detection. This initiative aims to tackle five specific cancers: Breast Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Esophageal Cancer, Lung Cancer, and Oral Cancer.
To date, 46,713 beneficiaries have been screened, with 20,891 identified as at-risk beneficiaries. Additionally, the State Cancer Society has screened 1,392 beneficiaries, identifying 89 confirmed cases and 71 suspected cases within the state.
The distinguished dignitaries contributing expertise to the conclave include officials from the Meghalaya Government and the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India.
The conclave signifies a significant step towards enhancing cancer care in the region, emphasising the importance of collaboration and shared knowledge in closing the care gap.