Did you know that India is ranked as number 1 in oral cancer cases? And that 90% of this is solely due to tobacco addiction? I didn’t. I learnt this from Dr Rohan Bartake, one of India’s few tobacco de-addiction specialists. Through his work over the years, this 36-year-old doctor has championed the cause of tobacco de-addiction. Dr Bartake holds regular treatment camps all over India, and recently conducted one in Goregaon too.
Dr Rohan Bartake and his mission
While there are plenty of counselling and intervention centres for drug and alcohol addiction, very little is available for tobacco addicts. With a keen interest in public health and social entrepreneurship, Dr Bartake took up the cause of tobacco deaddiction and is now a full-time Tobacco Treatment Specialist. He has a degree in homeopathy, an MBA in social entrepreneurship and an undying passion to help tobacco addicts. That makes for quite a combination.
“75% of global tobacco addiction cases are from India”, Dr Bartake says. Taking his mission very seriously, he has worked on an international collaboration headed by senior oncologist, Dr Sultan Pradhan of Prince Aly Khan Hospital and Dr Nancy Rigotti, the pioneer of Tobacco Cessation Clinic, in Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston US. Dr Rigotti is professor of Medicine in Harvard School.
Why is his work so unique?
What makes Dr Bartake’s work unique is that it focuses on the treatment of addiction. Where most interventions only offer advocacy and awareness about tobacco addiction, his work focuses on creating change. He uses counselling, behaviour and lifestyle modification techniques and regular follow ups to help his patients. His patients include men and women from both rural and urban situations.
Today, heading Navicare Clinic in Oshiwara, Dr Bartake continually looks to treat tobacco addicts effectively. His work applies World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines for support and follow up methods for patients.
Blowing out the issue
Dr Bartake works with medical social workers in the country, who take ahead the mission of tobacco deaddiction far and wide. He also provides training in tobacco deaddiction to those who are interested. Though medical qualification is not a must, it is always advantageous. “Most of all, you need to have a passion for this cause”, Dr Bartake highlights.
Over the last 4 years, Dr Bartake has treated over 3500 patients in the country. His success rate is a formidable 50-60 percent. He was invited by governor of Nagaland to conduct tobacco de-addiction camps there. For his tireless work, Dr Bartake received Rotary International Vocational excellence award this year.
For the world at large, a single No Tobacco Day suffices but for him, each day is a war waged on this deadly addiction. This social plague has claimed many live and much happiness in society. Dr Bartake’s work helps not only the one primarily addicted but also those who are directly impacted by this addiction – family, friends, colleagues and society at large.
My conversation with Dr Rohan Bartake was very enlightening and inspiring. It is rare indeed to find medical experts with such dedication for a larger cause in this city. If you need to arrange a treatment camp in your neighbourhood, do grab the opportunity with this young and vivacious expert.
Medical registration number: 44809
Navicare Clinic address: Link Plaza Commercial Complex, 107, Bhau Tatoba Toraskar Marg, Mhada Colony, Andheri West, Mumbai. Toll Free number: 1800 419 0702