Magsaysay: Cancer doc treating poor for free wins Magsaysay award | India News

MANILA: A surgical oncologist, Ravi Kannan R, who left a key post in the renowned Adyar Cancer Institute in Chennai and chose to work and live in an impoverished rural region in Assam to reach poor cancer patients desperately in need of medical help, and a Philippine university professor, Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, who became a peace negotiator and helped ease decades of Muslim insurgency violence in her country were among those who won this year’s Ramon Magsaysay Awards-regarded as Asia’s version of the Nobel Prize.
The other winners announced on Thursday were London-educated lawyer Korvi Rakshand, who turned away from a life of privilege in Bangladesh to lead a movement providing education to poor children, and an East Timor farmer, Eugenio Lemos, who uses his songs to campaign for food security and environmental protection.
“They are Asia’s torchbearers of hope, illuminating the lives of millions,” said Susanna Afan, president of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation. The winners “have offered their respective societies successful and replicable solutions to some of our most pressing challenges and have reminded us all of our common humanity.”
In 2007, Kannan led Cachar Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, a small hospital with a staff of just 23 that would later considerably expand and employ more than 450 personnel under his leadership. It now provides free or subsidised cancer treatments to about 5,000 new patients a year. Its hospital teams travel long distances to train family members of rural patients in pain management and palliative care and provide free medicines, the awards foundation said. “No one should be denied access to treatment due to want of money,” Dr Kannan said.

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