Alvi stresses need to break breast cancer taboos

President says early detection of disease can help save thousands of lives

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President Dr Arif Alvi on Thursday stressed the need for breaking stereotypes and taboos related to breast cancer and said early detection of the disease can help save thousands of lives in the country.

The president was speaking to social media influencers at the Presidency. First Lady Begum Samina Arif Alvi also attended the interactive session.

The president said social media influencers could play a vital role in creating awareness against the disease. “It’s a responsibility of the society to give more public space to women by providing them access to basic facilities and a safer environment free from harassment, besides empowering them financially,” he stated.

He urged social media influencers to join the fight against breast cancer by highlighting the topic in their content so as to make the people more aware. He also urged them to discourage fake news.

Begum Samina Alvi said social media influencers had been effectively raising awareness against the disease as part of a campaign to ward off the disease. She urged them to continue supporting the noble cause. The first lady also highlighted the importance of self-examination, which could help detect breast cancer before it spreads.

Dr Maryam Malick of the World Health Organization gave a briefing on the importance of breast cancer awareness campaign. Dr Hira Asim gave a detailed presentation on the nature of the disease and risk factors associated with it. At the end, President Alvi and Samina Alvi responded to queries of social media influencers to make the awareness campaign more effective.

Separately, President Alvi said Pakistan attached high priority to its relations with the United Kingdom and wanted to further boost cooperation in diverse fields.

He was speaking to Lord Wajid Khan, who called on him at the presidency. During the meeting, the president briefed the dignitary about Pakistan’s smart lockdown policy that led to successfully containing the COVID-19 pandemic. He also highlighted Pakistan’s success against the war on terror during the last 20 years.

Exchanging views on the situation in Afghanistan, the president said that Pakistan had extended humanitarian support to Afghanistan and facilitated the evacuation of over 12,000 Afghan and foreign nationals.

He said that Pakistan had been hosting over three million Afghan refugees for the last four decades, besides contributing to reconstruction and development of Afghanistan.

He felicitated Wajid Khan on his elevation to the prestigious House of Lords. He appreciated Wajid Khan efforts for raising concerns about human rights violations in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).  He urged the international community to take notice of the reign of terror being unleashed by the Indian occupation forces against the innocent people of IIOJK and to hold India accountable for its abhorrent conduct. Wajid Khan lauded Pakistan’s smart lockdown policy to curb the coronavirus pandemic.

Duaa Mirza is a correspondent covering crime, social issues and law enforcement. She is the youngest crime reporter and the only woman who visits crime scenes on her motorbike. She tweets @DuaaMirza12.