ACCF chemotherapy services launched today in Assam Medical College & Hospital (AMCH), Dibrugarh

  • ACCF Oncocare, a centre for chemotherapy service is now operational at AMCH, Dibrugarh
  • The Facility inaugurated by Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma, Hon’ble Minister, Health & Family Welfare
  • Equipping existing Radiotherapy unit at AMCH with the latest Linear Accelerator (LINAC) machine, to be commissioned by September 2020.
  • Swasth Assam – a NCD screening kiosk has also been inaugurated at AMCH OPD.

Dibrugarh, June 05, 2020 - Assam Cancer Care Foundation, a not-for-profit joint venture between Govt. of Assam and the Tata Trusts, today started chemotherapy services in a 30 bed facility in the premises of AMCH, Dibrugarh. The facility, called "ACCF Onco Care" was launched by Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, Hon'ble Minister, Health & Family Welfare in presence of Shri Pijush Hazarika, Hon'ble Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare, Shri Prasanta Phukan, Hon'ble MLA, Dibrugarh, Shri Pallav Gopal Jha, DC Dibrugarh, Dr. H. K. Goswami, Principal, AMCH, Dr. Uma Shankar Kutum, Medical Oncologist, ACCF, Shri Gautam Chintey, Tata Trusts and a host of dignitaries.

This unit will be staffed by a senior medical Oncologist and trained nurses and will work in close coordination with the various departments of AMCH to provide comprehensive care to cancer patients.

ACCF is also equipping an existing Radiotherapy unit at AMCH with the latest Linear Accelerator (LINAC) machine, which will be installed and commissioned by September 2020.

ACCF, set up in December 2017, is in the process of building 10 state-of-the-art cancer centres at Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Barpeta, Tezpur, Lakhimpur, Jorhat, Darrang, Kokrajhar, Silchar and Diphu, the geographical spread intended to reduce the travel and hardships of cancer patients across the state. The hospitals, being constructed by Larsen and Toubro, have been designed to be earthquake resistant and compliant with NDMA guidelines for hospital buildings by using base isolation technology.

In order to launch cancer services in the interim, a collaboration model was developed with the support of AMCH, where ACCF provides chemotherapy services and co-morbidities and support services are handled by AMCH. The same model will be replicated in other Government Medical Colleges in the coming months.

"This is a good model of clinical collaboration leading to better outcomes for the patients. It cuts travel time and disruption for patients who are currently travelling to Guwahati or outside Assam. We hope to see this model replicated in other Medical Colleges soon" mentioned Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, who also chairs ACCF

"This is a unique partnership and we are pleased to note that patients coming to AMCH will have access to specialised medical oncology and radiotherapy services provided by ACCF" stated Dr. H.K. Goswami, Principal, AMCH.

In addition to cancer services and infrastructure, it is also to be noted that ACCF has undertaken several initiatives in the past year to address the growing cancer burden in the state.

Cancer screening: In a cancer care programme, screening is an important pillar and ACCF has started screening programmes in eight districts and two tea estates in Assam, having screened more than 27,500 people till date.

Palliative Care Centres: ACCF has established three Palliative Care Centres in Assam Medical College & Hospital (AMCH), Dibrugarh, State Cancer Institute (SCI), Guwahati, and Jorhat Medical College & Hospital (JMCH). One more centre is being set up in Diphu, Karbi Anglong District.

Digital Nerve Centre: ACCF has set up a Digital Nerve Centre (DiNC), the first of its kind in the region, which ensures uniform implementation of services across locations.

Tobacco control: It has also worked on tobacco control programmes by conducting multiple events to spread awareness such as Cancer Walkathon, Annual Dental Conference, Pinkathon, World Cancer Day, Beat Cancer Campaigns and youth engagement programmes. It has resulted in 94.5% coverage in schools for anti-tobacco signage and increased challaning for COTPA law violations by more than 150%.

Oral Morphine supply: ACCF has effected the implementation of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act at the State level ensuring uninterrupted supply of Oral Morphine and related opioids. More than 3000 patients have benefitted from care provided at these centres.

Non-Communicable Diseases: Besides cancer, ACCF has also supported the Government of Assam's programme for Universal Screening and Control of Hypertension and Diabetes in Barpeta, Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Nagaon, Kamrup (Rural), Darrang, Silchar and Karbi Anglong. ACCF has also started 3 Wellness Kiosks in AMCH Dibrugarh, GMCH Guwahati and TMCH Tezpur. These kiosks provide screening services for NCDs and counselling for patients. Awareness and Screening programmes have also been conducted at Chabua Tea Estate and started at Nahortoli Tea Estate in Dibrugarh district.

Support on Covid-19: Demonstrating its commitment towards well-being of the people of Assam, in wake of the Covid-19 crisis, ACCF has donated 50 Ventilators and 7500 PPE kits. It further plans to donate 100 more ventilators and 5000 PPE kits to ensure adequacy of critical care facilities in Assam.