LAHORE   -  First Lady Samina Arif Alvi on Monday said it was imperative to pay attention towards the health of women as healthy women could play positive role for creating good society.

She said this while addressing a Breast Cancer Awareness Programme held at Governor’s House, here. She said, “We are focusing on breast cancer awareness because it is increasing across the globe.” This disease was increasing in developed and developing countries, she added.

She said that according to an estimate, every year in Pakistan 90,000 women fell victim to breast cancer and about 40,000 women died of this disease. Samina Arif Alvi said, “Unfortunately in Pakistan we have no figures about the breast cancer patients and lacking central data base in this regard.” She said the disease was spreading very fast and even the young females were being diagnosed with it.

“For the last two years we are trying our best to create maximum awareness about this fatal disease,” she maintained.

She further said that in far flung areas where women had no access to social media, there women were getting awareness through telephone tone message. She also appreciated the role of print and electronic media in this regard.

She said this year awareness on breast cancer was being created through national and regional newspapers as well. She said, “Doctors, nurses, civil society, hospitals and military institutions are supporting us in breast cancer awareness activities.”

Samina Arif Alvi said that basic reason behind this effort was that female should conduct their self examination and they must speak to other women telling them that this disease was curable to 99 percent if diagnosed at early stage.

She said that a breast cancer awareness event was held at Agha Khan where alumni gathered and collected fund through which they would provide treatment to those breast cancer patient women, who could not afford it.

She further said that awareness programmes were being held across the country.

She stressed upon the need that breast cancer awareness should not be restricted to the month of October only but efforts in this regard should be made throughout the year.

The First Lady said, “The government can extend support, if we have proper data with regard to breast cancer diseases.” The data would help in providing  information like death rate and number of breast cancer survivors besides other information, she added.

She said the Health Ministry and Pak Armed Forces would help in gathering this data.

Samina Arif Alvi said there were many health related issues in the country, adding, “We are trying to facilitate women in rural areas who don’t share their health problems due to social and psychological pressures.” Lady Health Workers (LHW) could play positive role in creating awareness on this disease, she added.

She said that maximum efforts were being made to facilitate women so that they could get their mammogram tests done at affordable rates.

She said that in Karachi a call centre had been started and it would enable the shying women to approach this call centre to seek information on breast cancer awareness.

While talking to the participants of the event, she said that each of you must create breast cancer awareness among five to ten females.

Wife of Punjab Governor Perveen Sarwar said it was very difficult to see the loved ones suffering from cancer.

She said, “In Pakistan we need to reach out to women in rural areas as due to lack of awareness they have no direction to follow if diagnosed with this disease.”

She said it was very important to fight for becoming cancer survivor.

She said that collective efforts were of utmost importance to deal with different health related issues in the country.