In October, the Armenian Cancer Patients' Protection Network (ACPP) in Yerevan adopted a Declaration calling on the Government, Ministry of Health, National Assembly, and Yerevan State Medical University to protect the interests of cancer patients. One of the points of the Declaration concerns the need to assess the impact of environmental pollution on human health in mining communities.
“The poor mining industry and environmental pollution affect people's health, whereas state authorities and people in charge say there is no evidence," Oleg Dulgaryan, President of Community Solidarity and Support Center NGO, told EcoLur, “The public position expressed in the declaration can be a pressure so that the competent bodies shall address those issues and start working on them.” The declaration specifically says, “Cancer knows no boundaries. It continues to be one of the ontological problems of the mankind that endangers the normal survival of the mankind.
We are calling on Government of the Republic of Armenia, Ministry of Health of the Republic of Armenia, National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia, Yerevan State Medical University, state and non-state interested organizations to:
- Regulate VAT exemption of targeted medicines included in modern guidelines for the treatment of cancer in the relevant legislation of the Republic of Armenia, which will increase access to treatment with these drugs, as well as ensure that the cancer patients have access to the drugs listed in the WHO within the frames of the state provision service.
- Within the frames of cervical cancer screening currently underway in Armenia and breast cancer screening to be performed in 2020-2021, in case of detecting any cancer the patient shall be provided with a full treatment package funded by the government, including surgical treatment, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy.
- Conduct in-depth evidence-based research at the state policy level in the mining centers of the Republic of Armenia, in the affected and adjacent communities (Alaverdi, Akhtala, Shnogh, Teghut, Mets Ayrum, Shamlugh, Odzun, Mghart, Vardenis, Sotq, Kapan, Qajaran, Artsvanik, Syunik, Geghanush Communities and in the communities of Ararat Region) to find out the impact of mining and environmental pollution on the health of people living in those areas through cancer disease and comparing mortality rates and identifying the possible causal link between them.
- Ensure full and comprehensive registration of all cases diagnosed with malignant tumors among the RA population by developing and maintaining a national cancer registry in accordance with international standards.
- Develop and implement a State Program on Public Awareness of Malignant Tumors aimed at preventing cancer in Armenia, reducing cancer morbidity, early detection of cancer.
The Declaration was signed by about 40 participants.
17:06 November 05, 2019