President urges women parliamentarians, media to play their role in sensitizing society about breast cancer

APP58-04 ISLAMABAD: October 04 - President Dr. Arif Alvi in a group photo with the Women Parliamentarians at the Aiwan-e-Sadr. APP

ISLAMABAD, Oct 4 (APP):President Dr. Arif Alvi has urged the women parliamentarians and media to play their role in sensitizing the society about breast cancer and raising awareness about the disease.

Speaking to women parliamentarians from both treasury and opposition benches here at Awan-e-Sadr Wednesday night, the President said October was the breast cancer awareness month and being leaders of the society there was a heavy responsibility on the shoulders of women parliamentarians to create awareness in the society about this most common disease.

Giving the high incidence and destructive nature of breast cancer, the President urged early diagnosis, prevention and treatment of the disease and termed it a high priority. He said self-examination and guidance in this regard was a must and warned that if left undetected and untreated, the disease could spread to other areas of the body as well.

The President said he would write letters to all television channels to invite women leaders, social workers, sports women and celebrities in morning talk shows and create an awareness campaign regarding breast cancer. He said the anchors and guests should wear pink ribbons to create awareness regarding the disease.

β€œWe have a very good tool in the shape of Ladies Health Visitors (LHVs) who could be used in this regard,” the President said.

President Alvi said women in the society were confronting many problems, which could be understood by other women in a better way.

He said women were most vulnerable section in society particularly in education, health and social sectors, adding in the field of education, the drop-out ratio of girls was more than boys. Similarly, he said, the women faced unemployment issues and harassment at various stages in society.

The President said women folk of society also had a big issue of denial of inheritance and giving them more space in society was responsibility of the State. Similarly, he pointed out that women also faced issues in marriage, divorce, Khula and they were being deprived of their rights.

In health sector, the President said ratio of depression in women was also very high and according to a report of Aman Foundation Karachi, women were victim of 80 percent of depression cases. He said depression was not only a psychological but a medical disease.

Similarly, he said, stunting was a big issue and 40 percent of children had this problem in Pakistan, adding that the problem usually started at the time of birth.

β€œIt is our responsibility to handle these problems with collective wisdom and being legislatures and executives play our role in this regard,” he stressed.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC), Dr.Fehmida Mirza said the President had touched all issues confronting the women. She recalled that keeping in view the problems facing the women in society, the Women Parliamentary Caucus was formed when she was Speaker of the National Assembly.

She said the women parliamentarians were fully participating from this platform to highlight the women-related issues and had played an active role in legislation on important matters.

Dr.Fehmida Mirza said she herself was a breast cancer survivor, adding that survival rate of breast cancer was very high but awareness in society in this regard was important. She said breast cancer was very common in South Asia and particularly in Pakistan and the reason was lack of awareness.

She stressed sensitizing the media to play a positive role and create awareness in the society about this disease. She said the role of women parliamentarians was very much important in this regard.

Federal Minister for National Health Services Aamir Mehmood Kayani, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Hussain Chaudhry, Senators and women parliamentarians attended the meeting.