Paediatricians at an international conference in Dhaka today said 13,000 children get affected by cancer every year in Bangladesh, meaning the country is bearing a huge burden of the killer disease.
Paediatric cancer is increasing day by day due to several environment factors and unlike adult cancer it is mostly curable, they told a day-long conference of Paediatric Haematology and Oncology Society of Bangladesh (PHOSB) at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU).
Vice Chancellor of BSMMU Prof Dr Kamrul Hasan Khan, former BSMMU vice chancellor and president of Bangladesh Childhood Cancer Society Prof Dr MA Mannan, President of Bangladesh Paediatric Association Prof Mohammod Shahidullah and child specialists and Secretary General of PHOSB Prof AKM Amirul Morshed Khasru, among others, addressed the conference with President of PHOSB Prof Chowdhury Yakub Jamal in the chair.
Khasru said there are 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.
Prof Shahidullah said, "Paediatrics has become a major subject over a period of time. It deals with various categories of children of different ages. There is inadequate manpower in the paediatric haematology and oncology sector."
The country needs well-trained manpower in the field of paediatric haematology and oncology, he added.
Prof Kamrul said non-communicable diseases, particularly cancer and blood disease, has been a significant health concern in childhood after a notable reduction in the communicable diseases with the advent and execution of successful vaccinations and different other programmes.
Other health experts said thalassaemia is an important hereditary form of blood disease in the country. Most of the children suffering from thalassaemia do not get proper treatment in Bangladesh, they said, adding pre-marital counseling is the only way to prevent thalassemia.
The experts laid emphasis on prevention of thalassaemia disease through taking necessary medical initiatives and creating awareness on the disease.