islamabad-The incidence of breast cancer is increasing in young girls of Pakistan and awareness is the only key to survival and prevention from the disease, speakers said on Friday. The Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Pink Ribbon held the 3rd Annual Youth Awards ceremony to announce the award winners under the PINKtober Youth Awareness Program 2017.

The awards for PINKtober Youth Awareness Program are a sign of recognition to all the universities which have shown their best performance in creating awareness about the hazards of breast cancer.Shaheen Khan, Adviser, Learning Innovation (LI) Division, HEC was chief guest of the ceremony, while Fida Hussain, Director General, LI, HEC, Omer Aftab, CEO, Pink Ribbon and other notables attended the event.

Fatima Jinnah Dental College Karachi secured 1st position in the category of universities, followed by Kinnaird College for Women University, Lahore and the University of Lahore with 2nd and 3rd positions respectively. In his message on this occasion, Dr Arshad Ali said HEC hopes that this program will keep benefiting the society by saving thousands of lives.

He underlined that HEC will continue to serve as a bridge between Pink Ribbon and higher education institutions to increase awareness about breast cancer among the youth of Pakistan. Addressing the ceremony, Shaheen Khan admired the efforts of HEC and Pink Ribbon for creating awareness among the youth of Pakistan.

She urged women to never ignore breast cancer symptoms and approach healthcare facilities as soon as possible. She further said the HEC-Pink Ribbon efforts have helped sensitize the masses about the significance of early diagnosis of the disease.

In his opening remarks earlier, Omer Aftab appreciated the support of HEC in reaching out to hundreds of universities across the country to create awareness about breast cancer. “The incidence of breast cancer is increasing in young girls of Pakistan and awareness is the only key to survival,” he asserted, adding that, “we need to prepare our generation to be health- conscious so they can have a better future.”

He said Pink Ribbon has successfully started the construction of Pakistan’s first dedicated breast cancer hospital. The construction is expected to be completed within two years, he informed. He said owing to the joint efforts of HEC, one million youth have been reached so far to create awareness about breast cancer among them.