LAHORE (PR) - A cancer specialist has slammed saboteurs of the 13th medical symposium of the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre in Lahore.

Anais Malpica, MD, Professor of Pathology, The University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, wrote a letter in response to the sabotage.

The letter reads: “We, people with more than busy and complex lives, were called to teach and share our knowledge and professional experience with colleagues and trainees in Lahore, Pakistan.

We, physicians and health care workers from around the world had to put temporality on hold our familial and domestic duties, hospital responsibilities, administrative commitments, other academic endeavours, and professional and extramural activities to come to Lahore, Pakistan.

We ignored government travel warnings, academic institutions travel restrictions, the fearful comments of our colleagues, supervisors and students, we dealt with more than one form to get a visa, and we spent a good amount of time to get a string of documents for this not so easy visit to Lahore, Pakistan.

We stretched our bodies and minds with extra hours of duties -not to leave anything loose either at home or at work, we selected the topics to be discussed with our colleagues in Pakistan, we prepared our presentations carefully, we travelled thousands of kilometers, we went through innumerable time zones, we went through multiple security check points and through multiple inquires to make it to Lahore, Pakistan.

We, the 125 speakers and 950 attendees that were supposed to gather in Lahore, Pakistan firmly believe in the outstanding work of the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre leveling the playing field for the patients affected by cancer in Pakistan. This massive, well-intended and truly altruistic effort was ruined by a small group of individuals who unfortunately could not understand the magnitude and the repercussion of such a scientific event taking place in Lahore, Pakistan.

We, physicians and health care workers dedicated to our patients and academic endeavors from around the world, unfortunately had to witness in total disbelief how a world class medical symposium – offered for free to the physicians of Pakistan – was sabotaged with no impunity and without thinking about the huge effort wasted and the detrimental effects of this action on the patients with cancer in Pakistan.”