NEW DELHI, India (HRNW) – Whenever the rain relents, staff at a waterlogged cancer hospital in northeast India seize the chance to administer chemotherapy to patients on the road outside, creating a pitiful image of the misery caused by the region’s worst floods in years.
Located in the Barak valley in Assam state, the 150-bed Cachar Cancer Hospital and Research Centre has been inundated by for days, and the situation has become so dire that its administrators have requested life-jackets and an inflatable raft to transport patients and staff, along with other essential items needed to keep the facility running.
“Procedures that can be done outside, like chemotherapy and initial diagnosis, we are doing on the road where there is minimal water-logging,” said Dharshana R, who heads the resource-mobilisation department of the hospital.
“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 said, adding that doctors had carried out about four operations in the past week, compared with around 20 before the flooding became too bad.
Fresh supplies of drinking water, food and diesel for back-up power, and fuel for cooking were all desperately needed, she said.