LAHORE: Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed on Saturday inaugurated the building of Pink Ribbon Hospital, first-ever dedicated breast cancer hospital not only in Pakistan but worldwide.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, the chief justice said it was unfortunate that a country where the population of women was in majority had no specialised breast cancer institute for them.

He said how the deaths of over 40,000 women due to breast cancer each year could be neglected. He said every institute and department should seriously consider this matter and establish breast cancer hospitals and clinics in every city of the country as early diagnosis and right treatment was a must for survival.

CJP Ahmed highlighted the constitutional rights of women in Pakistan and said the women were not only a valuable part of the country but a lifeline of the society.

He said the well being of the women meant the well being of the whole nation. He assured the team of the hospital a continuous support of the Supreme Court to the mission.

Earlier, Pink Ribbon CEO Dr Omer Aftab said his was the only organisation dedicatedly working on the issue of breast cancer in the country for 17 years. He said the journey of the organisation had been full of challenges as there was a time when even mentioning the word “Breast Cancer” was a taboo, which had now become a priority topic in the national health agenda.

Since its inception in 2004, he said, the organisation had educated 1.3 million young girls on breast self-examination, and 18m women on early diagnosis techniques. He pointed out that the consistent campaigns and various community engagement initiatives led to a 400 per cent increase in mammogram screening in the country.

Dr Aftab told the audience that the hospital was a fully charitable organisation dependent on donations. Upon completion, the hospital would be able to provide world-class treatment to 40,000 deserving breast cancer patients annually, he added.

Published in Dawn, October 17th, 2021

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