ISLAMABAD, Apr 19 (APP): First Lady Begum Mahmooda Mamnoon Hussain Wednesday said cancer was affecting 150,000 people in the country every year and stressed effective awareness campaign to prevent the deadly disease.
In her address at the “Awareness Seminar on Prevention of Cancer” here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, the First Lady stressed that government departments in collaboration with private sector should devise a joint strategy to help the cancer patients.
Begum Mahmooda said seminars and workshops needed to be organized to raise awareness against cancer besides involving media to get the message across properly.
She said the government was making all possible efforts to curb the spread of cancer and mentioned that Prime Minister’s National Health Program had been launched to provide the people with low income free treatment of fatal diseases like cancer.
She also pointed out that government had started the collection of data of cancer patients from 2013 with a basic purpose to chalk out a comprehensive and effective plan to stem the growth of cancer.
She said cancer wards had been established in major hospitals and steps were being taken to provide healthcare to the people in far flung areas.
The First Lady noted with concern that according to World Health Organization every year almost 150,000 new patients were diagnosed with cancer in Pakistan while nearly 100,000 lost their lives due to it.
She also expressed her concern that cancer was spreading among female population at an alarming rate especially among those crossing 40 years.
She also advised the women not to shy away from the diagnosis of cancer for its timely cure.
Muhammad Ayub Sheikh, Secretary Ministry of National Health Service Regulations said treatment of cancer patients was a priority for the federal government and mentioned that a PC-1 had been prepared to set up a cancer hospital in Islamabad with a cost of Rs 20 billion and annual expenses worth seven billion rupees.
He said the 500-bed hospital would be established on modern lines and would cater to the needs of cancer patients.
Professor of Gynecology Dr. Syeda Batool Mazhar and Dr. Huma Qureshi, Executive Director Pakistan Health Research Council also spoke on this occasion.
Earlier, the First Lady also led the awareness walk for prevention of cancer which was attended by a large number of people from various segments of society.
She also visited stalls set up to educate the people about the prevention of cancer.