SHIKARPUR - Early breast cancer detection device invented by the BS Computer Science and BBA students of Sukkur IBA University, has been selected for 2018 Hult Prize.

The final round of the competition will be held in San Francisco, USA on March 9 & 10 of 2018. The students including, Falak Hanif of BBA, Ghalib Hassan, Fazal-ur-Rehman and Aakash of BS Computer Science had won the regional competition was held in 2017, in which more than 100,000 students from 120 countries participated.

Students of Sukkur IBA University and University of Lahore won the competition and now they will be showcasing their ideas in the final round in San Francisco and Boston USA in March 2018. 

Talking to the media the students Falak Hanif, Ghalib Hassan and others told the media that around 1.7 million women worldwide were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016. They went on saying that, with 90,000 breast cancer cases being annually reported in Pakistan and over 40,000 deaths caused by it, Pakistan has the highest rate of breast cancer in Asia. But like any other cancer, breast cancer can only be cured if diagnosed at an early stage, they said. Referring to the report of Breast Cancer Society they said that, one-third of these cancer deaths could be saved if detected and treated early which means worldwide nearly 400,000 lives could be saved every year.

Keeping in view the grave situation, we started working on it and finally come up with “SymCan-Detector” which is a bra insert wearable enabled with numerous bio-sensors, the proud students added.

According to them, women would be recommended to wear this once in a week for an hour only, after that SymCan-Detector detects earliest sign of breast cancer by looking at the circadian metabolic changes and passes that data to the application software which analyses it with the help of some AI based algorithms and generate an alarm in case of finding any kind of abnormalities.

They said that, rather than a mammogram or ultrasound, SymCan-Detector can be used at home. Thanks to the modern invention, because now precious lives of many women could be saved through early detection of breast cancer, remarked Falak Hanif adding, most commonly women in their forties fall prey to this disease. Our device will help protect many precious lives, which otherwise go waste due to late detection of the disease, she said.

Another proud group of students including, Asif, Mohammad Amir Saeed and Sarfaraz Ali of BS Accounting referring to a survey in 2015-16 informed that, agriculture sector is contributing 70% of the share of GDP in Pakistan, but due to some issues, agriculture sector is becoming barren with the passage of time.

They were of the view that, biggest threat for this sector is the wastage of food and use of in-organic chemicals in food production. Report says, 41.3 billion tons of food is wasted every year worldwide and in Pakistan, about 40% of cooked food go waste annually, as a result we are facing food insecurity and price hike. To meet the demand of the people farmers are forced to produce more food in a short span of time and for that, they have to use poisonous pesticides and inorganic fertilizers as a booster, they told the media. After producing two to three crops in this unnatural way, the fertility of the land is affected badly and slowly and gradually it turns barren, they said. Rampant use of poisonous pesticides and fertilizers not only affects the land’s fertility, but also have negative impact on people’s health which includes diabetes, cancer and others, they added.

Quoting the report of World health Organization (WHO), they said that, Dr Guido Sabatinelli says that “In Pakistan, 60 per cent of people die due to diabetes and cardio-vascular diseases and 29 per cent people die due to cancer annually and this is attributed to unhealthy food. Not only this, but inferior quality food also effects our exports and thus causes harm to country’s economy. Therefore we have come up with the idea of conversion of waste food into organic fertilizers by the process of natural composting.

According to them, it will convert waste food into organic fertilizer and this fertilizer will be used by the farmers which will help restore the fertility of the land on one hand, while on the other will result in higher production.

They said that, 47% of Pakistan’s population is employed in agriculture sector, adding, this fertilizer will be provided to farmers at a very low cost so that all the farmers irrespective of the size of their land, could easily afford it. The students told the media that, the organic fertilizer will increase the fertility of the soil and ensure healthy food production. About 20 per cent of agricultural land they added; is not cultivable due to rampant use of poisonous pesticides and fertilizer and our organic fertilizer will enrich that land with healthy nutrients.

Revealing their future plan, the students said that, certain portion of the profit generated will be used to help the farmers to encourage the farming and crops cultivation through microfinance at low interest, besides establishing embroidery centers in remote areas for women who are skilled and needed a platform to earn and to serve themselves as well as country.

They further said that, embroidery is also one of the exports of Pakistan and this particular skill is also badly affected by lack of resources and opportunities for skilled people. Financing and establishing embroidery centers will help to boost the exports and economy of Pakistan. In the long run, it will help in coping with the uprising environmental issue of food insecurity and will empower our society, they added.