The first-ever Maldivian oncology surgeon has started his practice at the state-owned Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH).
Dr Mohamed Shifan, 43, was working at IGMH before leaving for Sri Lanka to specialise in cancer surgery. He joins IGMH’s new Oncology Centre.
According to health ministry statistics from 2016, cancer is among the leading causes of death in the Maldives.
IGMH spokesman Ahmed Mausoom told Mihaaru the hospital’s cancer-care services will improve with the addition of the new surgeon.
“It will be a big relief to the people to get cancer-related surgeries done here. Dr Shifan will be available for consultations starting next week. He is an accomplished doctor,” Mausoom said.
A study from the World Health Organization shows that noncommunicable diseases account for 81 percent of total deaths in the Maldives. Of these, 12 per cent of deaths are cancer-related, with lip, oral and lung cancer predominant among men, and breast cancer predominant among women.
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) says that current trends show younger age groups, including children, are at higher risk of developing cancer.
The new Oncology Centre at IGMH was established Thursday, along with its new Pulmonology Centre. The hospital says the new Oncology Centre will include chemotherapy services and a pharmacy specialising in cancer medication.