Paediatricians at an international conference in Dhaka on Saturday said that 13,000 children contract cancer every year in Bangladesh, meaning that the country is bearing a huge burden of the killer disease.
The incidence of paediatric cancer is increasing day by day due to several environmental factors and, unlike cancers in adults, it is mostly curable, they told a day-long conference of Paediatric Haematology and Oncology Society of Bangladesh at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University.
BSMMU vice-chancellor Kamrul Hasan Khan, former BSMMU vice-chancellor and president of Bangladesh Childhood Cancer Society MA Mannan, president of Bangladesh Paediatric Association Mohammod Shahidullah and child specialists and secretary general of PHOSB AKM Amirul Morshed Khasru, among others, addressed the conference with president of PHOSB Chowdhury Yakub Jamal in the chair.
Khasru said that there were only nine paediatric haematology and oncology centres in the public sector in Bangladesh.
‘For proper management of these patients, we should develop more skilled manpower in the sector. We have to establish more paediatric haematology and oncology centre in the country,’ he added.
Professor Shahidullah said, ‘Paediatrics has become a major subject over time. It deals with various categories of children of different ages. There is inadequate manpower in the paediatric haematology and oncology discipline.’
The country needs well-trained manpower in the field of paediatric haematology and oncology, he added.
Professor Kamrul that said non-communicable diseases, particularly cancer and blood diseases, has become a significant health concern in children after a notable reduction in communicable diseases with the advent and execution of successful vaccinations and different other programmes.
Other health experts said that thalassemia is an important hereditary form of blood disease in the country. Most of the children suffering from thalassemia do not get proper treatment in Bangladesh, they said, adding that pre-marital counselling is the only way to prevent thalassemia.
The experts laid emphasis on prevention of thalassemia through taking necessary medical initiatives and creating awareness on the disease.
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