Underlining cooperation in the health sector, India has donated an advanced telecobalt machine for cancer treatment, developed by the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, to the island nation of Madagascar.
The advanced digital cobalt therapy machine 'Bhabhatron-II' was inaugurated at the Joseph Ravoahangy Andrianavalona Hospital (HJRA) in Antananarivo, capital of Madagascar by President Andry Rajoelina this week.
Speaking on the occasion, Rajoelina said cancer is a disease that affects more and more people in our society and is one of the leading causes of mortality, according to a press release.
India's Ambassador to Madagascar Abhay Kumar, addressing the audience at the inauguration, said cancer is a major health problem affecting a large number of people globally.
Kumar said that during the visit of President Ram Nath Kovind to Madagascar in March 2018, it was announced that the Bhabhatron machine would be donated to Madagascar, which is one of the few countries to have received the Bhabhatron-II radio therapy machine from India.
“This reflects growing ties between the two Indian Ocean neighbours under our Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of SAGAR i.E. Security and Growth for All in the Indian Ocean Region,” Kumar said.
Rajoelina added that cancer is often poorly treated because of lack of screening and oncology treatment facilities.
“Majority of people affected by cancer had no other option than medical evacuation. Obviously, under these conditions, health had become a privilege and no longer a right. The setting up of this centre, therefore, is a real solution to facilitate and allow the oncology treatment for Malagasy people in Madagascar,” Rajoelina said.
Rajoelina expressed gratitude to the Government of India for its donation of the radiotherapy device.
“The Malagasy State is pursuing its mission and this radiotherapy centre is a great step towards improving the quality of life of the population and the modernisation of the health system in Madagascar,” Rajoelina said.
The machine has been functional at HJRA since January and has the capacity to treat 50 patients per day.