ISLAMABAD: First Lady Samina Arif Alvi has called upon the media as well as national and international organisations working in the country to make concerted efforts towards raising awareness about the early detection of breast cancer among women, especially those living in far-flung areas of the country.
She said she had been leading the breast cancer awareness campaign for the last four years which had started yielding results as the number of women availing diagnosis services had increased significantly.
The first lady made these remarks at Aiwan-i-Sadr while chairing a meeting.
It was attended by representatives of the World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), NGO Green Star, Shifa International Hospital, Shaukat Khanum Hospital, Human Resource Development Network (HRDN), Aurat Foundation, Khyber Medical College and Khyber Teaching Hospital Peshawar, Dopasi Foundation, Pakistan Girl Guides Association (PGGA), World Food Programme and Roche Pakistan.
Says number of women availing diagnosis services increased in last few years
Ms Alvi said: “October is observed as Breast Cancer Awareness month worldwide and we all need to work in coordination for defeating this deadly disease by undertaking awareness activities throughout the year. Pakistan was one of the countries where the mortality rate due to breast cancer was the highest in the region due to late diagnosis of the disease.”
She said communities should be involved in creating awareness about early detection of the disease.
Screening facilities should also be extended to maximum number of areas, the first lady said, urging participants to chalk out a comprehensive plan for the entire year to sensitise women about the disease. Speaking at another event marking the 75th anniversary of Pakistan’s Independence at Iqra University, Ms Alvi urged youth to step forward and contribute towards national development by showing exemplary performance in all fields of life.
She stressed the importance of dedication, hard work, and perseverance to achieve the goal of making the country stand out proudly among the comity of nations. “Every individual, particularly youth and students have to play their role to make Pakistan a great country,” she said, adding Pakistani youth was second to none with regard to their capabilities.
She emphasised getting advanced knowledge as per contemporary needs, however, she called upon the youth not to forget their roots while pursuing their studies abroad.
She highlighted the beautiful culture and traditions imbibed in the ethos of Pakistani society, which she stressed, needed to be promoted at all levels. “The education of women was vital for the progress of the country besides their mainstreaming in all fields of life,” she said, adding people also need to be educated about the welfare of people with disabilities so an inclusive environment could be provided to them.
Published in Dawn, August 16th, 2022