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Health Webinar: Experts from India and Abroad to Discuss Kerala’s Challenges

In Health
February 23, 2021

Grappling with the rising prevalence of cancer and other non-communicable diseases in Kerala, a galaxy of international experts will come together to evaluate the work done so far and fix the gaps to accomplish the SDG target by 2030.

The issue of NCDs would be debated at length on February 25th as part of the ongoing international health webinar series, titled ‘Kerala Health: Making the SDG a Reality’, organized by the state’s Department of Health and Family Welfare.

Dr Rajendra Badwe, Director of Tata Memorial Centre, Dr. Richard Sullivan, Director, King’s College London, and Dr Sankaranarayanan, a France-based WHO-IARC scientist, feature among the list of illustrious speakers who will be discussing the challenges and management of cancers, an issue that is particularly relevant to Kerala.

Dr Badwe, who heads the Department of the Surgical Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, will speak on the topic “Achieving SDGs related to Cancer- Challenges”. A key advisor to the government in establishing a National Cancer Centre and six AIIMs, he is also an advisor to Breast Health Global Initiative and the WHO.

Dr. Sullivan, Professor, Cancer and Global Health, King’s Institute of Cancer Policy, an NCD advisor to the WHO, and a member of India’s National Cancer Grid; Dr Sankaranarayanan, Senior Visiting Scientist, WHO – IARC Lyon (France); Dr M V Pillai Professor of Oncology, Thomas Jefferson University of Philadelphia; Dr. Anil D Cruz, President, Union for International Cancer Control; and Dr Arnie Purushotham, Director, Kings Health Partners, Integrated Cancer Centre London, will be participating in a panel discussion on “Prevention of Cancer through Primary Health Care”.

Health & Family Welfare, Women and Child Development Minister K K Shailaja will inaugurate the three-hour session on “Meet the SDG–Beat the NCDs” at 5 pm while the keynote address will be delivered by Dr Cherian Varghese, Coordinator NCD Management, WHO Geneva.

Medical fraternity and others can attend the conference by registering at www.keralahealthconference.in or view at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSE0zP8darFGvDn3CyC2ERg

The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3.4 has set a target of reducing by one-third pre-mature mortality from the NCDs through prevention and treatment, and promotion of mental health and wellbeing. NCDs account for 70 per cent of all deaths worldwide. A large proportion of such deaths are premature and 85 per cent of premature deaths from NCDs are reported from developing countries. The conference will evaluate the work done so far and what more is needed to be done to accomplish the target by 2030.

Dr Thomas Frieden, CEO, Resolve to Save Lives, will speak on the topic “Achieving the SDGs related to NCD”. Dr Rajan Khobragade, Principal Secretary, Health & FW, Govt. of Kerala, along with Dr Bipin Gopal, Dr Kiran, Dr Mathews and Dr Naveen will dwell upon the topic: Kerala NCD Strategy and its implementation.

Dr Rekha A Nair, Director, Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) Thiruvananthapuram, will deliver a talk on “Kerala experience – Cancer Care Dialogue”.

As part of its efforts to combat and manage the growing incidence of NCDs, the Kerala government is implementing a new protocol-based, patient-centred, comprehensive management strategy to control diabetes and hypertension on a state-wide basis. The programme was initially launched in the four districts of Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur, Kannur, and Wayanad.

Further, screening, prevention and management of diseases through NCD clinics are being done at district and sub-district level hospitals, Community Health Centres (CHCs), and Family Health Centres (FHCs). Also, NCD drugs at sub-centres are distributed free while preventive activities for reduction of risk factors are carried out with the support of the Local Self Government Department.