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ISLAMABAD: Begum Samina Alvi, wife of President Arif Alvi, on Wednesday illuminated the president house building with pink light in commemoration of the ongoing Pinktober breast cancer awareness drive and to acknowledge Pink Ribbon Pakistan’s efforts in raising awareness and working to provide advocacy and healthcare services to the patients and potential victims.
The event was a collaboration of President House administration and Pink Ribbon Pakistan with special interest of President Dr Arif Alvi. At the occasion, the president and other administration also expressed their views over this extremely critical health issue of Pakistani women and applauded Pink Ribbon’s campaigning of over one and a half decade.
In a ceremony held at president house, Begum Samina Alvi pushed the button to illuminate the building in pink color, thus marking a charity’s breast cancer awareness drive.
Addressing the ceremony, Begum Alvi said the month of October was being commemorated worldwide to create awareness about the breast cancer.
By turning pink for this lifesaving cause, which is concerning more than 10.2 million Pakistani women with high risk of breast cancer, the President House showed complete support to Pink Ribbon and pledged to help the organization eradicate this fatal disease and reduce the resulting female mortality.
Begum Alvi underlined the importance of running an effective breast cancer awareness campaign which could help avoid incidents and deaths related to breast cancer.
Talking to the media at the illumination event, Dr Arif Alvi’s wife Samina Alvi said, “The pink illumination of the President House is a part of Pink Ribbon’s national breast cancer awareness drive and we vow to extend full aid to the organization in their struggle to educate the society on this important issue and provide healthcare facilities to the sufferers.”
She maintained that media can also play an effective role by creating public awareness regarding the disease and while doctors and medical practitioners should be invited in TV morning shows to create awareness about breast cancer.
Begum Alvi said every third woman in Pakistan was at the risk of suffering from the breast cancer and timely diagnosis can help cure the disease at an early stage.
“Womenfolk should not be hesitant in getting themselves medically examined to timely detect the symptoms, doctors should be consulted immediately in case of any complication,” said Samina Alvi.
Pink Ribbon Chief Executive Officer Omer Aftab said, “It is indeed an honor for us to illuminate the President House for such a noble cause. Thousands of precious lives are lost every year due to ignorance, late diagnosis and myths related to breast cancer.
Despite the fact that out of all the type of cancers, breast cancer is the only one that can be cured successfully if diagnosed at an early stage, whereas it is so unfortunate that this cancer alone claims 40,000 lives every year,” Pink Ribbon CEO Omer Aftab said.
Pink Ribbon, a leading charity organization for the support of breast cancer patients, is commemorating this October as PINKtober with #SaveThe9th theme that is a pledge to support the greater cause of building Pakistan’s first dedicated breast cancer hospital to save every 9th Pakistani woman who is at high risk of breast cancer.
Aftab said that with the support of higher authorities like President House, the organization is committed to not only spread its outreach in the society but also build a chain of breast cancer hospitals across the country and the first one is already underway in Lahore.
Aftab especially thanked Dr Arif for his permission and special interest in the event and he vowed to spread the wings of his forum to reach out to a maximum number of women in Pakistan and sensitize them to adopt preventive methods like breast self-examination and breast screening.
October is celebrated as breast cancer awareness month globally and Pink Ribbon observes it in Pakistan as Pinktober. The theme of this year’s campaign is #SaveThe9th which hinges around the concept of sensitizing the society to support Pink Ribbon’s cause of building Pakistan’s first dedicated breast cancer hospital to save every ninth woman who is at high risk of breast cancer.
Every year, 90,000 new cases of breast cancer are reported in Pakistan. A majority of the cases are not recorded due to the sufferers’ hesitation and social pressure. Moreover, lack of healthcare facilities make the situation worse.