Irfan lauds NORI’s role in raising alarm bells on tobacco use


‘World No Tobacco Day’

Zubair Qureshi

Isalamabad—Advisor to Prime Minister on National History and Literary Heritage Irfan Siddiqui has called for awareness among people particularly youth regarding hazards of tobacco.
He was addressing as chief guest a seminar organized by Nuclear Medicine Oncology & Radiotherapy Institute (NORI) hospital in connection with “World No Tobacco Day” here on Tuesday.
“World No Tobacco Day” is observed with an objective to create awareness among the people about the diseases caused by tobacco use, he said. However, he said there was a need to devise proper long term plan for creating awareness about health hazards due to use of tobacco among the people.
By creating awareness on media, number of patients due to use of tobacco can be decreased, he said. Irfan Siddiqui lauded the efforts of all PAEC-run hospitals especially NORI for organizing such awareness campaigns, seminars and walks and led the participants in an awareness walk.
It may be mentioned here that Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission’s eighteen (18) cancer hospitals working throughout the country observed ‘World No Tobacco Day’ on May 31, 2016.
S M Javed Akhtar, Member Science, PAEC, presided over Tuesday’s seminar.
Also present on the occasion were Zamurrad Khan, former MD Bait-ul-Maal, Dr Mohammad Faheem, Director NORI and Director Medical Sciences, Dr Fayyaz Ahmad.
Dr Fayyaz also gave a presentation titled ‘Smoking – a silent legal assassin’ by Director NORI on this occasion. The presentation was followed by an awareness walk.
Dr Mohammad Faheem apprised the participants that worldwide 6 million people die annually because of cancer and other diseases caused by tobacco whereas in Pakistan this number reaches up to one hundred thousand per annum which is alarming. He also shared that tobacco is also cause of other types of cancer besides that of lungs.
He regretted that as many as 27 percent of professionals related to medical profession are addicts of cigarettes and other tobacco bi-products.
“If doctors started smoking, what can you expect from illiterate people,” he asked.
Earlier, Dr Humera Mahmood, Head Oncology and Radiology, NORI in his presentation “Women ‘at par’ with men” gave alarming statistics of the rising trend of using tobacco in the form of Shisha, Hukka, cigarettes and Niswar – all manifestation of status symbol and modernism in the name of women empowerment. He contested that women empowerment has anything to do with these menaces and regretted that the alarming rise in use of tobacco among women especially those who are pregnant needs to be immediately addressed.
We can fight out this strange yet alarming trend by spreading awareness among women folk about the dangers attached to this kind of empowerment in women.
S. M. Javed Akhtar, Member Science, PAEC, lauded the efforts of PAEC in fighting against this disease and shared that when it comes to beginning the fight against cancer, PAEC’s Atomic Energy Mineral Centre Karachi was the pioneer to start diagnostic and therapeutic facility in Pakistan.
Today 80 percent of the cancer patients, to the volume of 800000 in the country are being treated at 18 cancer hospitals established all over the country by PAEC.
Chairman Green Task Force Dr. Nasir Jamal and Dr. Fiyyaz Ahmad also attended the ceremony.

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