Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Kashmir has a unique strain of cancer among the 20 to 30 patients who die daily

The Kangri Cancer is fortunately showing a downward trend

The Bad News: 20-30 people die of cancer daily in Kashmir

The Good News: 15 of these can be saved with proper awareness and cure

Reyaz Ahmed (Kashmir Images)

Sopore: Deadly cancer is spreading its tentacles fast in Valley and available data suggests around 20-30 patients are claimed on daily basis by the dreaded disease. Horrifying it sounds, and indeed it really is; however, the saving grace is that if people are educated about the menace and provided medicare at various stages of the disease, almost 50 percent of the patients dying of cancer can be saved.

These details were shared by some leading oncologists here other day during the 'Cancer Awareness Conference’ and ‘Practitioner's Meet' held at north Kashmir's Sopore township in Baramulla district. Doctors and medical practitioners working in different urban and rural districts of north Kashmir participated in the conference organized here for the first time by Hakim Sanaullah Cancer Center Sopore in collaboration with Rajiv Ghandhi Cancer Institute New Delhi.

"It has been found that there are 110-120 new cases present in one lakh of populace and so far as the Kashmir valley is concerned, at least 40 new cases are detected every day and almost 20-30 patients die daily due to this deadly disease," said Dr. Shad Salim Akhtar. He said that at least 15 cases are preventable but it needs painstaking efforts.

The conference with the theme of ‘Cancer Awareness', focused on the management of cancer in countries with limited resources.The speakers stressed upon all the doctors and medicos to work for educating masses about cancer prevention activities and asked them to pool their efforts to fight the deadly disease. When asked about the genetic factor of cancer, Dr. Shaoib Zaidi, who is a Consultant Surgical Oncologist at Batra Hospital New Dehli said there are some kinds of cancer like in breast and uterus and other organs, which have genetic origin. Replying to question about the Kangri Cancer cases in the Valley, Dr. Zaidi said earlier such cancer cases was rampant in the Valley but now as people has curtailed the use of Kangri, the incidence of Kangri Cancer cases too has decreased.

During the conference, various practicing physicians and doctors deliberated upon varied topics related cancer. Emphasizing the importance of awareness and education about cancer among health-care providers and the general population, oncologists said that it has become necessary for “all of us” to create an atmosphere for cancer care and cure facilities so that people living in far-off villages can get benefit as they don’t have not access to the high-profile and expensive hospitals.

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