Dr. Ravi Kannan, this Diwali we salute you for your contribution to Cachar Cancer Hospital
About 15 years back a nine-year-old girl suffering from teeth cancer was on her deathbed. It was well understood that her time in this world amidst us would be just few hour,s if not minutes. As she was turning cold, her father who tried everything, to save his daughter called out to Dr. Ravi Kannan, saying he is a magician he can save my child. This father had been to the TATA Cancer Memorial in Mumbai, and traveled all around the country with hope and prayer.
The nine-year-old died that day, Cancer is not eradicated either but Barak Valley got someone to trust when they are diagnosed with Cancer. They have somewhere to go. Dr. Kannan is a surgical oncologist and was heading the surgical department prestigious Adyar Cancer Institute in Chennai. The Cachar Cancer Hospital and Research Center was founded in 1992 by a few independent individuals. The then director had known Dr. Kannan personally and used to visit him in Chennai in regular intervals. Patients who could afford was referred to him from Silchar. In 2007, in one such occasion, when the director called Dr. Kannan to talk about a patient, Kannan replied he had quit Adyar Cancer Institute and that is when the director offered him to join Cachar Cancer Hospital and Research Center located in Meherpur. Silchar.
In an interview to the Logical Indian, Kannan said, “Bomb blasts and floods were the only two things we knew about Assam.” His daughter was at fourth standard back then and his wife said “Anywhere but Assam” letters and calls continued and Dr. Ravi Kannan reached Silchar with his family. 10 years later, in an interaction with media, he said, “In two months, 10 years passed, time just flew.”
His daughter got enrolled in Kendriya Vidyalaya and his wife started contributing to the community. Back then the Cancer hospital had 23 staffs and 25 beds. Today, a 200 member strong team serves patients in more than 100 beds. Kannan believes that if a patient does not have the resources for his or her treatment, then it is the responsibility of the clinician to find resources and that is something he has been doing with perseverance. For the poor and needy he wants to set up a “state of the art” facility, which would have the capacity to provide quality treatment.
Over the years, his drive to offer the best treatment possible to all patients, irrespective of their socio-economic status has witnessed the launch of several innovative measures. Some of these include ‘home visits’ and ‘satellite clinics’ to bring medical care to the doorstep of patients who are mostly daily wage-earners. In addition to this, the hospital now offers phone consultations for post-treatment support and free food during the patient’s stay at the hospital.
Operating solely based on financial contributions from organisations and individuals, the hospital supports the underserved through cancer prevention, treatment, palliation, education, and research. Under Dr. Kannan’s stewardship, the hospital has stepped up its plans to continually offer specialised and affordable cancer care to as many people as possible.