Infrastructure and Capacity Building Oncology Programme
According to estimates made by the World Health Organisation (WHO), about 5 million people die prematurely every year due tobacco consumption. India’s tobacco problem is more complex than probably that of any other country in the world, and over 50 per cent of Indian men are smokers. Among 13-15 year old school-going children, the current use of any tobacco product varies from 3.3 per cent in Goa to 62.8 per cent in Nagaland.
The relationship between oral cancer and tobacco use, especially chewing of paan (betel quid) with tobacco, has been reported since the early 20th century and more recently through a variety of epidemiological and clinical studies. There are numerous studies showing a direct correlation between tobacco use and cancer of the larynx, oesophagus, oropharynx, stomach and other sites. Oral cancer ranks among the top three of all cancers in India, which accounts for over 30 per cent of all cancers reported in the country.
Taking cognisance of the magnitude of the problem, the Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation partnered with Prince Aly Khan Hospital to set up a 14-bed oncology ward. The ward is equipped with state-of-the-art technology and a cadre of committed physicians who are trained through the Narotam Sekhsaria Fellowship Programme. The Foundation supports the hospital to upgrade its infrastructure and build the capacities of the health professionals through international exchange programmes, research, conferences and trainings.
Therapeutic interventions require special equipment, long experience and exceptional expertise which is unavailable in India. To address this deficiency, the Foundation has supported the hospital to organise a series of training workshops and live surgical demonstrations by Professor Phillipe Monnier, Head of Department, ENT at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.
The Foundation’s support has enabled thousands of patients particularly those from the resource poor backgrounds to access quality treatment and care provided by a pool of trained head and neck surgeons.
Established in 1945, the Prince Aly Khan Hospital is a 164-bed acute care, multi-specialty facility offering quality health care. It is equipped with a three-room operation theatre complex, an intensive care unit, an intensive cardiac care unit, a neonatal ICU, a renal dialysis unit and state-of-the-art facilities in every department.
In 2001, the Hospital was awarded the ISO 9002 (International Standardisation Organisation) certificate and is perhaps the only one in Mumbai and Maharashtra to have such a certification. This certification is awarded only when a hospital’s clinical, diagnostic, administrative and support services conform to ISO standards.