Aizawl: The construction of Super Specialty Cancer and Research Centre, a Rs. 500 crore project under Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), is expected to begin soon in Mizoram’s capital Aizawl, an official said on Friday.

Mizoram now has the highest cancer incidence in the country. 

The official said that chief minister Zoramthanga on Thursday reviewed and discussed matters relating to the project with state officials and representatives of JICA in Aizawl.

State health minister Dr. R. Lalthangliana and health and family welfare board vice chairman Dr. ZR Thiamsanga also attended the meeting, he said.

The chief minister told the meeting that Mizoram now has the dubious distinction of being the highest cancer incidence state in the country and the state government is giving top priority to establishing cancer specialty hospitals to do away with the distinction of being the top cancer state.

Apart from cancer awareness and other measures, the focus should be given to the immediate construction of special cancer hospitals to facilitate treatment and good care at the local level and avoid treatment outside the state, he said.

The chief minister also urged state officials and representatives of JICA to expedite the process for the early construction of the proposed Super Specialty Cancer and Research Centre in the northeastern outskirts of the state capital.

Lalthangliana also informed the meeting that efforts would be made to start the construction of the centre at the earliest. 

He said the Centre has already approved the project, which will cost Rs. 500 crore. 

During the meeting, JICA representatives said that apart from the construction of the building, emphasis should be given to human resources development and “soft components,” such as training, awareness programme and cancer screening for the general public under the project.

Branded as “cancer state,” Mizoram holds the top position in cancer across all sites for male and female, tongue cancer (male), lung cancer (male    & female), stomach cancer (male & female), hypopharynx cancer (male), and gland cancer (male), according to  PBCR published in 2016.

It also topped the list in Cervix cancer in women in the country.

It has been estimated that on average at least mi 725 people die every year due to cancer and 3 people are diagnosed with the deadly disease every day in Mizoram.

According to a report of the National Cancer Registry Programme (NCRP)-2012-2016, released in 2020, Mizoram as a whole recorded 207 and 172.3 cancer cases of all sites per one lakh population among men and women, respectively.

The report had said that the total number of people diagnosed with cancer cases in the state during 2012-2016 was 8,059, including 3736 females while 4,080 cancer cases were registered in the Aizawl district alone during the same period.

One out of every five persons (both male and female) has the risk of developing cancer in the age group of 0-74 years in Mizoram. 

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