Health

Battling Cancer in the Maldives

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Thanks to technology, information is at every fingertip today; leading people to become aware and educated in terms of life. Be it better food products or healthcare, the Maldivians have learnt to prioritize in terms of their lives and health. This awareness has led to initiatives that will revolutionize healthcare in the Maldives. Especially when it comes to cancer.

Cancer has not been common place in the Maldives, with people in their late forties and above being prone to the disease. However, recent research and case studies reveal that cancer cases are increasing dramatically, with people in their twenties getting cancer. While 72% of cancer cases in the Maldives involve women, cancer affects 28% of men according to research. The most common forms of cancer in the Maldives are breast cancer and lung cancer according to medical officers.

The National Health Protection Agency (NSPA) and Aasandha spend fortunes every year on providing healthcare for the affected in regional hospitals; especially in India. The Regional Cancer Centre in Thiruvananthapuram, India, sees a majority of Maldivian cancer cases as people travel to find a cure for their afflictions. With millions being spent every year on cancer treatments alone, the hospitals in the Maldives have taken it upon themselves to provide better care when it comes to cancer.

Likewise, ADK Hospital opened up a cancer clinic in October 2015, expanding the services they provide. Working in collaboration with the Indo American Cancer Hospital and Research Institute, ADK’s cancer clinic services are available every Monday from 1600hrs to 1800hrs. Patients can get cancer screenings and follow-ups as well as have video conferences with oncologists abroad. They are currently training nurses in India. Though the cancer clinic doesn’t provide chemotherapy at the moment, ADK aspires to become one of the leading cancer clinics in the Maldives in future.

This year, IGMH announced a chemotherapy suite, giving cancer patients something to look forward to. The suite which is currently under construction will be provide services in collaboration with the Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) in India. With the cancer registry still undergoing updates, the cancer suite provides patients with medicine chemotherapy and injections at the moment. The hospital is coordinating with RCC to bring expert services to the Maldives.

With the completion of the chemotherapy suite in IGMH, cancer patients will no longer have to travel abroad for months at end to continue their treatments. Instead, they can receive expert treatment right here at home. The rise of cancer in the Maldives has given rise to the need for better healthcare; and to see the leading hospitals in the Maldives step up their game to provide the latter is a sign of hope for those in need.

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