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Bangladesh urged to manufacture cancer medicines PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 25 April 2008

Bangladesh is likely to go for manufacturing cancer medicines for the poor countries, including SAARC nations, to provide cost-effective and affordable treatments to the patients, reports agency.

This was focused at a 4-day International Socio-Scientific Cancer Conference (ISSCC) for SAARC Region held in Dhaka recently under the joint auspices of the Oncology Club and the Federation of Anti-Cancer Activities of Bangladesh (FACAB).

While talking to BSS Wednesday on the outcome of the deliberations at the international event, chairman of the Oncology Club and Professor of Vrije University in Amsterdam Professor ABMF Karim said the country might be benefited on a few fronts from this conference in stepping in cancer treatments with particular emphasis on cost-effectiveness.

Elaborating the medicine manufacturing endeavors, Prof. Karim said Nobel Laureate Dr Muhammad Yunus, while inaugurating the ISSCC as the chief guest, floated a concept of Social Business in the presence of Health Adviser Dr A M M Shawkat Ali and Health Secretary A K M Zafarullah Khan.

This excellent innovative idea would carry us a long way in producing low-cost cancer medicines, Prof. Karim said. “We shall work further on the concept and hope we could manufacture cancer drugs that would not only meet the requirement of Bangladesh, but also supply those to the poor countries including the SAARC nations,” he said.

On the sidelines of the ISSCC, the organizers also arranged 10 workshops at the National Institute of Cancer Research and Hospital (NICRH), Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib medical University (BSMMU), Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) and Bangladesh Institute of Research and Rehabilitation in Diabetes, Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders (BIRBEM). Worlds’ renowned oncologists and cancer specialists like Dr MS Chowdhury, Dr BR Dey, Dr R Love and Dr H Arastu of the USA, Dr D Brandjis, Dr A Matolcsy and Dr G A Zakaria of Europe, Dr P Dev of Australia, Dr TH Chong of Singapore and Dr S Issarachai of Bangkok took part in the conference and conducted the workshops.

Prof. Karim said it was decided unanimously in the conference that at least one Comprehensive Cancer Center of Excellence (CCCE) would be set up in the country. Besides, a network of Comprehensive Cancer Center would be set up in all medical colleges and hospitals in future. “Early detection can cure cancer fully, but prevention is even better,” said Prof.

Karim laying outmost importance on creating cancer awareness among the public. One of the biggest such congregations of the world acclaimed research activists on cancer decided for organizing multi-modal high class treatment for rich and poor cancer victims and propagating proper fight against the attitude of nihilism (cancer no answer) regarding cancer in general public.

The ISSCC decided to generate necessary funds for translating into reality the ambitious decisions taken for the welfare of the cancer patients. Prof. Karim told that a project with the help of Grameen Phone shall be launched from 1st June next to generate mechanism to prevent cervical cancer in poor young girls of Bangladesh.

Elaborating the project, he said initially 50 young girls shall be vaccinated, but this eventually shall be extended to many more poor girls of Bangladesh. Cervical cancer is known to be the greatest killer of the female population of the whole world, he mentioned.

Prof. Karim said a research project in Bangladesh in collaboration with National Cancer Institute of America has been undertaken to generate mechanism to try to stop exodus of valuable foreign exchange for treatment of pre- menopausal breast cancer patients in Bangladesh. “ We have been able to get commitment of financial help already,” Prof. Karim said adding “this project has already been initiated and shall now be centered in Japan Bangladesh Friendship Hospital.”

He said a CME (Continuous Medical Education) accreditation system would be introduced to stop nepotism and prevent obstruction in career building of meritorious efficient young oncologists of the country. Prof. Karim informed that Oncology Club and FACAB have already submitted the proposals and recommendations of the ISSCC to the relevant authorities, including the health ministry and health directorate, to take necessary steps and extent cooperation to the organizers of ASSCC for early materializing the decisions.

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