President inaugurates 2-day cancer awareness symposium

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President Dr. Arif Alvi on Monday inaugurated a two-day symposium to promote awareness about cancer disease here at KIRAN hospital as part of the awareness campaign in line with the World Cancer Day.

He also inaugurated the newly installed cancer diagnosis and treatment facilities including Linear Accelerator and PET/CT Scanner at Atomic Energy Cancer Hospital (AECH), Karachi, the facility attached with PAEC’s Karachi Institute of Radiotherapy and Nuclear Medicine (KIRAN). The First Lady Begum Samina Alvi was also present.

At the symposium, more than 200 cancer specialists from across the country would present their research papers on head, neck and breast cancer.

President Alvi said that Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission had been rendering commendable national service for decades through application of nuclear technology in the fields of nuclear power, agriculture and biotechnology. The most appreciable role played by the commission had been witnessed in health sector especially in diagnosis and treatment of cancer through its AECHs.

“ I am glad to inaugurate the newly added facilities at KIRAN and hope that it will surely provide great relief to cancer patients from Karachi and adjoining regions,” he commended.

He said PAEC’s efforts were indeed remarkable – either it were in the field of indigenously producing radio isotopes or indigenously running Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (KANUPP) after vendor support was discontinued for the plant in 1970s.

He said that with the advent of new technologies, cutting-edge techniques owing to revolution in the field of information technology, artificial intelligence and gene-editing, new treatment techniques for the cancer cells were  emerging. And, he hoped that PAEC cancer hospitals would upgrade as per the requirements of new age.

Dr. Alvi emphasized on organized large scale campaigning to reach the nook and cranny of the country to create awareness among the masses about ‘prevention’ of cancer which was easier and less costly than its treatment.

He urged the patients suspecting caught of cancer disease must go for their proper diagnosis at the earliest possible, which would definitely benefit them in their recovery.

President was confident that PAEC and its 19 cancer hospitals would keep working for the betterment of health sector of the country.

Dr. Arif Alvi expressed his pleasure that Karachi always led in philanthropy; especially in health services. There was big number of philanthropists in Karachi and, whenever needed, these public welfare heroes extended maximum possible help, provided the cause was genuine.

He said as a nation, Pakistan generously helped and hosted 4 million Afghan refugees for 40 years. That was enough to tell how generous Pakistanis were. Whereas, those claiming to be the modern nations were  exercising unique ideas of keeping away displaced people and refugees terming them as ‘illegal immigrants’ and leaving them drown in the Mediterranean Sea.

Earlier, PAEC Chairman, Muhammad Naeem briefed the President and Begum Samina Arif Alvi about the commission’s initiatives and projects meant for socio-economic uplift of the nation— major contribution was in defence, energy and health sectors.

He shared that after recent inauguration of 1100 MW K-2 Nuclear Power Plant, another power plant in Karachi named K-3 with the same generation capacity would be connected to the national grid on March 31, 2022.

In the field of agriculture, PAEC’s four centers had developed over 125 disease-resistant and improved crop varieties.

“ We are happy to share that 30 to 40 percent cultivatable land of the country was utilizing our seeds varieties of different crops,” he said adding that PIEAS was the top ranking engineering university of Pakistan and IAEA had recently labeled it as the agency’s Collaboration Center in Pakistan.

PAEC Chairman informed that the commission had been providing cancer diagnosis and treatment facilities for decades. It established first cancer treatment facility in 1960 at Karachi and had been adding a new hospital after every 3 to 4 years.

PAEC formally inaugurated its 19th cancer hospital named Gilgit Institute of Nuclear Medicine, Oncology and Radiotherapy (GINOR) on January 14, 2022, whereas it was going to construct 20th cancer hospital in Muzaffarabad and work on the project would commence within a month.

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