Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala: In a shocking revelation, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy today informed the state Assembly that the state has the highest number of cancer patients in the country.
Out of every one lakh males, 133 persons suffer from the disease while in the case of females, it is 123 for every one lakh females, he said while replying to a calling attention motion on the necessity to set up a cancer institute in Kochi.
As per statistics, nearly 50 per cent of cancer cases could be cured if the disease was identified in the initial stage itself and treatment started, Chandy said.
On the demand for a Cancer Institute, he said the cabinet had already decided to set up a Cancer Research Institute at the campus of Kochi Medical College hospital, which was taken over by the government from the co-operative sector.
Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad had, during his recent visit to the state, also sanctioned Rs 25 crore to set up the institute at Kochi. This amount would be utilised for the proposed project, he added.
Taking up the issue, S Sarma (CPI-M) said doubts have arisen in the minds of public on the proposed project as no funds had been earmarked for it in the current year's budget.
Sarma demanded that government clarify its position on the matter and speed up the work of the institute.
Eminent personalities of various walks of life, including jurist V R Krishna Iyer have launched a campaign in Kochi in support of the institute.