LAHORE, Feb 03 (APP):First Lady Mrs Samina Arif Alvi has said that there is great need to make breast cancer topics part of syllabus of higher education to contain the deadly disease among women.
Addressing an awareness seminar at Shakir Ali Auditorium of the National College of Arts (NCA) here on Thursday, she said young women need to be guided on the disease as it was affecting girls as young as 14 years old, adding that educating girls at a young age will help overcome social stigma about the disease which takes away 35,000 lives every year.
The First Lady said that cancer was curable if diagnosed at an early stage, adding that girls must spread the information they get at such seminars. She said self-examination and early treatment were necessary as survival rate of the breast cancer patients in Pakistan was merely 55 per cent compared to 98 per cent in the world. She said women should not shy away from discussing any discomfort with their family or a doctor.
The First Lady urged students to share their knowledge with at least 10 girls as self-awareness was vital to controlling the disease.
Expressing her immense delight to visit the historic NCA, Samina Arif Alvi said the institution had produced great names over the years, adding that the college students should play their role for betterment of underprivileged students in the country, adding that they must also take care of the children with special abilities.
She said empowering women was necessary in a country where women make up half of the population, adding that there was need to give vocational training to the less-educated women and connect them to the industry.
She also invited Principal NCA Prof. Dr. Mustafa Jafri to take charge of the defunct Art and Craft Village, Islamabad.
Pink Ribbon Pakistan chief Umer Aftab, breast cancer surgeon Dr. Hurriat Afzal and a survivor Mrs. Seema Shakeel also spoke. Dr. Hurriat explained the breast cancer issues and the need to speak about it as it was a curable disease.
Prof. Dr. Murtaza Jafri thanked the First Lady for her presence. He hailed her services for the underprivileged and the women in the country.
Dr. Jafri also presented college souvenir to Mrs. Samina Arif Alvi.
Later, the First Lady inaugurated ‘Canvas & Colleagues 21’ Exhibition at the Fine Arts Department Punjab University. She showed keen interest in the art works displayed at the exhibition. The art works of expatriate Pakistanis were put on display at the exhibition.