Nagaland Chief Secretary J Alam, IAS on Wednesday launched the State Level Programme on Medical Certification Cause of Death (MCCD) & Affordable Cancer Care Project here at Hotel Vivor, Kohima. The program was jointly organised by Tata Memorial Center, Department of Health & Family Welfare and Department of Economics & Statistics.
Addressing the launching program Chief Secretary J Alam said Medical Certification Cause of Death (MCCD) is very important for decision making. Since Nagaland is behind other states in terms of certification at 7%, he said a target should be set to reach the national average.
The chief secretary stated that a lot of work is taking place for improvement of the public health and medical services in the State. He said it was of great satisfaction that out of 79 projects committed by various companies during the recently held CSR Conclave to be implemented in Nagaland, almost 50 projects are in the health sector and out of these 50 projects, 17 projects are of relatively prominent projects worth Rs 25 Crores.
Acknowledging the contributions of the corporates, he said anything which helps in improving the health system in Nagaland is always welcome and the state government is committed to implement these projects in the right spirit so that the benefits of these projects reach the people.
He also said the Kohima Medical College is on the verge of completion with 75% of work completed and the academic session due to start from 2023. Mon Medical College, however, may take one or two years to complete, he added. Another major intervention the state government is planning to make is the Chief Minister’s Health Insurance project which aims to give universal coverage to all the population of the state, J Alam said and added that hopefully Nagaland will be one of the early states to have this universal healthcare system.
J Alam acknowledged the efforts of Tata Memorial Centre to make cancer care more affordable stating that this will greatly help the people of Nagaland as the state has one of the highest incidence rates of cancer. He also requested the centre to set up a unit in Nagaland which can be a part of the existing hospitals or the Kohima Medical College.
Dr Ravikant Singh, Officer in Charge HBCH & RC, in his keynote address said the Tata Memorial Centre is under the Department of Atomic Energy and is financially supported by CDC Foundation, USA. Singh mentioned that the basic importance of MCCD is information through death certificates which is of considerable use to public health planners, administrators, medical professionals and research workers.
On affordable cancer care project, Dr Singh mentioned that their aim is to take cancer care services nearer to district levels. He said they have identified Kohima and Mokokchung districts as their targeted intervention for the first phase where they will be training all the medical staff on cancer screening process. Along with the Health & Family Welfare Department, they will be setting up some chemotherapy centres in the State, he further said.
Asangla Imti, Secretary Health & Family Welfare, in her welcome address stated that as per the MCCD report 2022, Nagaland stands at the bottom being in the 24th position in the country which is a concern for the state as it presents the uncertainty of health care services in meeting the health need of the community. It is only with the proper implementation of the MCCD scheme that the state can frame a robust state health policy, she said.
Imti said medical certification which is used to certify the cause of mortality is an essential and significant tool that helps in providing the authentic information of the death and mortality statistic plays a vital role in management, planning and formulation of any programmes and for undertaking control measures in more effective and planned manner for the welfare of the community.
Reports have shown that cancer cases are accelerating in the state at an alarming rate, she said and asserted that the two programmes launched today is appropriate and vital for the state and its citizens.
Dr V Khamo, Consultant, Naga Hospital, gave a brief presentation of pilot study on implementation of MCCD.
The Chief Secretary also launched two booklets: Training Manual for Doctors, Affordable Cancer Care, and Manual on Medical Certification of Cause Of Death.