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Cachar hospital, USTM ink pact for cancer research in NE

The Cachar Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (CCHRC), Silchar, and the University of Science and Technology Meghalaya (USTM) have joined hands to facilitate work on cancer research, education and awareness under the guidance of experts at CCHRC.

Towards this objective, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed at Silchar on Monday by renowned oncologist Padma Shri Dr Ravi Kannan, who is also the director, CCHRC, and USTM vice-chancellor Prof G. D. Sharma in the presence of other dignitaries.

After the ceremonial exchange of the MoUs, CCHRC director Dr Kannan said both institutions should work in collaboration to set up an advanced cancer research centre at USTM to carry out research in cancer-related diseases, especially from the north-eastern region.

“We will extend facilities to a limited number of BSc and MSc students of USTM for internship and short duration summer/winter training programmes at CCHRC under the relevant guidelines. We will also provide necessary facilities to the students and faculty of USTM to conduct various academic activities”, he said.

USTM vice-chancellor Sharma said that both the institutions would collaborate to start a joint PhD Programme in Cancer and Biomedical Research.

“CCHRC shall offer support in completion of course work. We shall also start fellowship programmes in Clinical Oncology, joint Bachelors and PG degrees in hospital management, radiation therapy, etc,” he said.

Speaking on the occasion, USTM chancellor Mahbubul Hoque said that “CCHRC is a comprehensive cancer care facility where nearly 80 percent of the patients are daily wage workers, agriculture and tea garden labourers and nearly 75 percent are treated for free or at subsidised charges.”

“From now onwards CCHRC will be an authorised centre for research activities at USTM and we will extend all academic support and offer fellowships to conduct research, etc,” Hoque said.

He further said that joint research projects would be submitted under joint supervision to the concerned government departments/agencies for funding so that cutting edge research can be pursued, utilising the expertise of both the institutes.

“The CCHRC will design courses on Cancer Biology for MSc and for BSc students and USTM shall start the course from the next academic session,” he added.

The north-eastern region has the highest incidence of cancer in India and is also burdened by higher prevalence of risk factors and inadequate cancer treatment facilities.

In this backdrop, CCHRC is making immense contributions, providing equitable and accessible healthcare services to the cancer patients mainly from the underprivileged communities of Barak Valley.

As part of the MoU, CCHRC will extend necessary facilities and resource persons to organise talks and awareness programmes within or outside the university premises from time to time as part of their outreach initiatives.

CCHRC will offer support to USTM in completion of course work for all collaborated programmes and also help in joint development of curriculum for any such new programmes.

On the other hand, USTM research fellowships shall be offered to the employees of CCHRC joining such programmes.

Outreach activities such as initiation of a rural clinic will get focus under the collaboration. Besides, joint supervision shall be extended to research scholars to work on development of cell lines and develop a cell culture centre.

Sophisticated laboratory facilities will be shared to facilitate the research scientists and research scholars of both the organisations. EastMojo

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