Assam Floods: Water Logging In Cancer Hospital, Chemotherapy Given On Road

Assam Floods

Located in the Barak valley in Assam, the 150-bed Cachar Cancer Hospital and Research Centre has been inundated for days

New Delhi: Whenever the rain relents, staff at a waterlogged cancer hospital in northeast India seize the chance to administer chemotherapy to patients on the road outside, creating a pitiful image of the misery caused by the region’s worst floods in years.

Located in the Barak valley in Assam, the 150-bed Cachar Cancer Hospital and Research Centre has been inundated for days, and the situation has become so dire that its administrators have requested life-jackets and an inflatable raft to transport patients and staff, along with other essential items required to keep the facility running.

Dharshana R, who heads the resource-mobilization department of the hospital said “Procedures that can be done outside, like chemotherapy and initial diagnosis, we are doing on the road where there is minimal water-logging”

She further said, “If anybody requires emergency surgery we are conducting them, but we have reduced the overall numbers because of a shortage of nitrous gas required for anesthesia,” she said, adding that doctors had carried out about four operations in the past week, compared with around 20 before the flooding became too bad.

Highlighting the need for essentials she said “Fresh supplies of drinking water, food, and diesel for back-up power, and fuel for cooking were all desperately needed.

The nearby Barak river flows from the hills of an adjoining state. While the flood waters have started to recede in many other areas located near Assam’s mighty Brahmaputra river, the situation in Cachar and its neighboring Karimganj and Hailakandi districts continues to be grim, Assam’s Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said while speaking to Reuters.

In Assam and neighboring Bangladesh, around 150 people have died and millions have been displaced by the catastrophic floods in recent weeks, and in some low lying, areas houses have been submerged.

Nearly every bed at the cancer hospital was occupied before the floods worsened more than a week ago, but patients had to return home or to safer locations, and now there are just 85 patients in its wards, according to Dharshana.

In the last  24 hours, five more people died as a result of the floods, taking the toll to 72 since the deluge began around three weeks ago.

Around 7.4 million people have been displaced in the state.


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