President Dr Arif Alvi Monday launched month-long awareness drive on breast cancer calling for the concerted efforts to address the alarmingly increasing ratio of the cases particularly by ending the allied social taboos.
Held at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, the event was attended by First Lady Samina Alvi, Governor Punjab Chaudhry Sarwar, federal ministers, parliamentarians, diplomats and hundreds of women from cross sections of the society.
The president also pressed the button to illuminate the Presidency’s building with pink lights as part of the drive being supervised by Pink Ribbon Pakistan in collaboration with the partners.
This also coincided with the illumination of nine other buildings located at the Constitution Avenue including the Prime Minister Secretariat, Prime Minister House, Parliament House, Supreme Court of Pakistan, Wafaqi Mohtasib and Federal Board of Revenue. The president said the increasing ratio of the breast cancer cases was a challenge for Pakistan.
He told the people that breastfeeding could remarkably reduce the risks of the breast cancer which could hit almost 12 million women of the country. Even the Holy Quran had also directed the women to breastfeed their children for two years as it was the most precious source of nutrition for the baby.
He said women were the major victim of the breast cancer. However, as part of the campaign, he said all the women should self examine their breasts once in a month and immediately consult the doctor if anyone detects any glandular swelling or tumor. If required, the woman concerned should also undergo mammography, he advised.
The president also called for the role of clerics to create awareness on breast cancer. He viewed that the creation of Naya Pakistan was only possible if the whole society realized their social responsibility particularly for ending the social taboos which also led to the worsening of the disease.
The president particularly stressed the electronic media for using the platform to create awareness on the diseases particularly during the month of October which marked the awareness drive on the disease.
He said the parliamentarians should also be given the relevant awareness material for their onward distribution among the people in their respective constituencies.
First Lady Samina Alvi said the society lacked proper awareness on breast cancer rather unfortunately, some social taboos had been linked with it. She said every year, thousands of the women lost their lives due to the breast cancer, adding the society could not progress without the role of women.
She said due to early diagnosis, 90 percent cases were successfully cured in other countries against 40 percent in Pakistan.
She also urged media to specify their air time to create awareness and hold morning shows on the subject having women as their predominant viewers.