It is believed as many as one-in-three children with cancer in the country lose their lives because malnutrition means they can’t fight off infections.
The same number is forced to abandon cancer treatment because their bodies can’t stand chemotherapy.
“Everybody knows about the importance of diagnosis, medicines and good, timely treatment for cancer, but the fact that a healthy lifestyle and right nutrition is equally required for recovery isn’t talked about,” said Dr Sameer Bakhshi, Head of the OPD of Institute Rotary Cancer Hospital (IRCH), AIIMS.
AIIMS will now work with the charity Cuddles Foundation provide the nutritional support.
“The fact is that childhood cancer is curable provided it is detected on time and the right steps are taken to fight the disease, one important step being offering nourishment to these malnourished children especially during treatment so their bodies gain strength to withstand the treatment and recover quickly,” Dr Bakhshi added.
Under the programme, monthly ration for 15 families every month, which supports the child and two adults of the family will be provided. Midday snacks and supplements will also be provided.