In Assam, floods had waterlogged Cachar Cancer Hospital located in the Barak valley. With no other options left, the hospital staff did the chemotherapy on the patients on the road outside the hospital.
More than 150 people have died and millions have been displaced by the catastrophic floods in recent weeks in Assam and neighbouring Bangladesh. During the past 24 hours in Assam, five more people died as a result of the floods, taking the toll to 72 since the disaster began about three weeks ago. About 7.4 million people have been displaced in the state
The 150-bed Cachar Cancer Hospital and Research Centre have been flooded for days. The situation has become so dire that its administrators have requested life jackets and an inflatable raft to transport patients, staff and other essential items which are needed to keep the facility running.
Dharshana R, who heads the resource-mobilisation department of the hospital said that chemo procedures can be done outside and initial diagnosis too.
“As of now, we are doing on the road where there is minimal water-logging. 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 anaesthesia,” she added.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma informed that 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 neighbouring Karimganj and Hailakandi districts continues to be grim.