Published: 03rd July 2021
National Human Rights Commission directs Mizoram Chief Secretary to ensure cancer treatment
The Special Rapporteur, of the NHRC in 2019, submitted a report on the conditions of the cancer patients in Mizoram and recommended the steps to be taken to prevent the disease
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has recently directed the Mizoram Chief Secretary to complete the upgradation of Mizoram State Cancer Institute (MSCI) under the Tobacco Cessation Clinics (TCC) scheme project and work for a new 50-bedded cancer hospital within the time limit. The order of the apex human rights watchdog has been passed adjudicating petition filed by noted human rights activist and Supreme Court lawyer, Radhakanta Tripathy.
Mizoram is the state with the highest number of cancer patients in the context of geographical boundary and population size. Between 2011 till 2016 nearly 3137 people died in Mizoram, due to cancer. No proper action was taken by the Government to prevent the disease and to cure it, Tripathy alleged. The Special Rapporteur, of the NHRC in 2019, submitted a report on the conditions of the cancer patients in Mizoram and recommended the steps to be taken to prevent the disease.
The NHRC had forwarded the report to Tripathy for comments and had also directed the Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, to provide medical equipment and medical workforce to address the problems of cancer patients in India in general and State of Mizoram in specific keeping in view the recommendation of the Special Rapporteur.
Tripathy, in his rejoinder, stated the Commission that it was clear from the report sent by Special Rapporteur, that the State of Mizoram was badly affected by cancer and the majority of the population were consuming tobacco, drugs, heroin, alcohol etc. Still no effective steps had been taken by the authorities to curb the menace of cancer, he said.
"The failure, negligence of the police, excise department and the drug inspectorate, had resulted in the spread of cancer in the State. Proper infrastructure and facilities are lacking in the State to deal with the situation, even the Centre had also not released the funds for the construction of 100-bed hospital and installation of Linear Accelerator," Tripathy stated.
He further alleged that Mizoram had become the route of smuggling of Ephedrine and pseudoephedrine drugs to Myanmar and Heroine, ATS, Injectible drugs from Myanmar, but no corrective, vigilance measures had been taken regarding this serious issue. "Therefore both Central and State Governments were responsible for spreading of cancer in State of Mizoram as an alarming state," Tripathy added. The NHRC forwarded the comments of Tripathy, to the Chief Secretary, Government of Mizoram, directing him to submit an action taken report on it.