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AR to assist cancer, AIDS patients in NE
AIZAWL, May 21 (IANS):
Published on 21 May. 2011 11:52 PM IST
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Counter-insurgency outfit Assam Rifles, India’s oldest paramilitary force, will now be seen in a new role - assisting people of the northeastern region in tackling dreaded diseases like cancer and AIDS, officials said here Saturday.
“As part of our civic action programme being conducted across the northeastern region, we would hold awareness, free check-up and treatment camps in the interior areas of the mountainous region,” an Assam Rifles spokesman told IANS.
AIDS and other dreaded disease would get priority in these camps, he said.
According to the several official and unofficial surveys, there is high incidence of cancer, AIDS and other killer diseases in the northeastern region due to the high consumption of alcohol and various tobacco products as also drugs usage.
The Assam Rifles have been conducting these health camps and awareness programme, in association with various health organisations and NGOs including New Delhi-based Cancer Detection Society of India (CDSI).
“The government has recently strengthened the medical units of all the Assam Rifles battalions to provide basic treatment to the troopers as well as local people where the para-military forces are working,” the spokesman said.
The CDSI headed by eminent oncologist Suraj Verma has been working in the northeastern region since 1984.
“A week-long mega cancer awareness and free check-up camp has just completed Friday at the Assam Rifles ground here and thousands of people benefited out of this event. Verma along with his team of doctors provided treatment to the ailing people,” the spokesman said.
“The society has done massive work in the northeastern region for cancer control through its branches and cancer detection camps which are regularly being organised in this region,” Verma said.
According to the Assam Rifles officials, the para-military force has set up their own hospitals in seven northeastern states and there are medical units with all the 46 battalions, deployed in nine sectors across the region.
According to the Assam Rifles spokesman, another 26 battalions would be raised very soon to curb terrorism and man the volatile India-Myanmar border. Of the 46 battalions, 15 are deployed along this 1,643-km border.
Occasionally, the Assam Rifles have been deployed in Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of India.

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