Health Desk- 02 Oct, 2019: Though the number of cancer patients is growing alarmingly in the country, treatment facilities and specialist doctors are very scanty here for lack of a comprehensive oncology education programme, said experts, reports UNB.
As a result, they said, nearly 50 percent cancer patients have to go abroad spending huge money for the treatment of the deadly diseases while many others either stop continuing treatment halfway through or die without treatment or getting maltreated.
According to officials at the National Institute of Cancer Research and Hospital (NICRH), there are only 16 medical oncologists in Bangladesh against the requirement of at least 2,000-2,500.
Besides, they said, the country requires at least 5,000 hospital beds for cancer patients but now it has only 500.
Prof Dr M A Hai, the Chief Patron of Medical Oncology Society in Bangladesh, said it is estimated that about 200,000 people are affected with cancer in Bangladesh every year. "Our existing treatment facilities can serve hardly 70,000-75,000 patients. The vast majority of patients either go abroad or remain undetected, and possibly die untreated or maltreated," he said.
Dr Muhammad Rafiqul Islam, an assistant professor at the National Institute of Cancer Research and Hospital (NICRH), said there are now around 15 to 20 lakh cancer patients in Bangladesh while around 2, 00,000 more such patients are added every year. "Of them, 1.2 lakh die each year."