NCCP launches ‘Aayu plus’ social network
By Eunice Ruth
The National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) has launched a special social network called ‘Aayu plus,’ as a health promotion programme to educate the public, by increasing community awareness among the public, said the Director and Consultant Community Physician of the Programme, Dr. Janaki Vidanapathirana. The launch of this social network was held yesterday (14) with the coordination of the United Nations Population Fund and the Colombo North Rotary Club, with the aim of preventing cancer, by detecting it at an early stage and providing treatment and care through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. This social network can also be used as a platform to share creative work such as handicrafts, poems, essays, songs and others. She also said the patients who are diagnosed with cancer can get support via this platform without visiting the hospital.
Dr. Vidanapathirana said cancer is a major public health problem and that it is the second leading cause of death in Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka, the number of cancer-related deaths is 17,000 annually, where 38 deaths occur within a day. She added that while 23,000 patients receive treatment at hospitals, 64 persons are diagnosed with cancer per day.
“Around 30 per cent of cancers are preventable through healthy lifestyle choices, while for another one third of it, they can be cured by providing treatment, depending on early detection, with the available resources. The remaining one third with advanced disease, cannot be cured, and treatment can provide only an improvement of the quality of life,” she said.