LAHORE - The University of Health Sciences (UHS) and Pink Ribbon Pakistan on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for breast cancer awareness.

UHS Vice Chancellor Prof Junaid Sarfraz Khan and Pink Ribbon Pakistan Chief Executive Officer Omer Aftab signed the agreement.

Both the organisations have become strategic partners for creating awareness on high danger of breast cancer, severity leading to fatality, impact on the life of the sufferer and the family and also spreading the good news that if detected early, it can be cured.

Under the agreement, UHS will extend support in research and development on different aspects of breast cancer. Moreover, UHS and Pink Ribbon will jointly organise professional education seminars and find common grounds to create awareness and break cultural taboos which prevent women from consulting doctors. Speaking on the occasion, Prof Junaid informed that recent trends have shown that breast cancer is increasing at an alarming rate. “Pakistan has the highest rate of breast cancer in Asia. I strongly believe that it is the right of every woman to know about fatal disease and society should support their cause,” he said.

“This is a big social issue which needs immediate measures. We will use all resources for success of this awareness campaign. Extra efforts will be made for conducting meaningful research in this area. “We must understand that this is a problem which is very close to our own homes and it needs a concerted and consistent approach to be dealt with,” the vice-chancellor added.

Pink Ribbon’s CEO thanked UHS for acknowledging significance of the issue and join hands with the organisation for spreading awareness and extending academic and technical support in this regard. He added that Pink Ribbon has provided services worth more than Rs 70 million in last seven years. It is now setting up Pakistan’s first dedicated Breast Cancer Hospital in Lahore.

Omer Aftab said that millions are donated for cancer treatment every year with minimal impact. “If we inject that same funding to early diagnostic facilities and catch the disease at an early stage, this will significantly reduce the funds required for treatment of each patient and will tremendously improve effectiveness of donations,” he stated.