Eminent oncologist and Padma Shri awardee Dr M Krishnan Nair, the founding director of the famed Regional Cancer Centre, died in Thiruvananthapuram following age-related ailments on October 29, Thursday, family sources said. He was 81 and breathed his last at his home in the city, they said. Nair was known for his various path-breaking initiatives in the field of cancer treatment especially in the areas of community and paediatric oncology and palliative care and his efforts to make expensive treatment affordable to poor people.
He played a key role in the opening of the paediatric wing at RCC in the 1980s, also led the setting up of a Community and Preventive Oncology Department there aiming to create awareness about the disease. He also served as a member of the Expert Advisory Panel of the World Health Organisation (WHO) regarding cancer and the National Cancer Control Plan.
Hailing from the capital district, Nair had obtained his MBBS degree from a government medical college during the 1960s and received the Fellow of the Royal College of Radiologists (FRCR) in clinical oncology from the Royal College of Radiologists in London. Besides Padma Shri, the medical expert also received several other honours including Pasupathy Nath Wahi Cancer Award, Bhishmacharya Award and so on.
People from various walks of life condoled the death of Nair, who was instrumental in making cancer treatment affordable to the underprivileged sections in society through the state-run RCC. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, in his condolence message, said Nair was an eminent doctor who had given a humane face to the area of cancer research and his demise was a great loss to the health sector of the state. He also reminisced about the expert's contributions in setting up the RCC.