ISLAMABAD, Jul 13 (APP): President Dr Arif Alvi Thursday called for prevention and early diagnosis of diseases like breast cancer and water-borne ailments to give people a chance to live longer healthy lives.
Speaking virtually at an awareness programme arranged by Siemens Healthineers, he underlined the need for improvements in the health and education sectors of Pakistan.
Despite the limited resources a developing country like Pakistan should give priority to health and education of the people, he stressed.
He said preventive measures and widespread awareness were vital to prepare people against the onslaught of life-threatening diseases.
He said Pakistan had an experience of effectively and successfully tackling Covid 19 as compared to the neighboring country where the death rate was higher.
Spreading of awareness among people was critical to keep Covid under control, he said adding people followed the advice of the government to wear masks, keep their distance and take preventive measures to help the country eventually overcome the challenge.
The President urged people to ensure cleanliness to stop the spread of communicable diseases.
Religious scholars could play an important role by teaching the significance of hygiene during their sermons in mosques, he continued.
He appreciated the efforts of Begum Samina Alvi in raising awareness about the threats posed by breast cancer to the health of women.
While citing reasons for late diagnosis of breast cancer among women in Pakistan, he said women were hesitant to share information about any unusual signs which was the cause of delay in screening for breast cancer.
He said those who go for early screening their chance of survival from breast cancer was 99 percent and women should undergo screening when they feel a lump in their chests.
He pointed to the brain drain in Pakistan saying a large percentage of women who get higher education either prefer to stay at home or leave for better opportunities abroad which resulted in lack of availability of professionals in different fields.
The President said educational institutions should ensure to provide a harassment-free atmosphere to women.
He said it was alarming that 10 percent population in Pakistan was suffering from hepatitis, adding due to the contribution of Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation, Pakistan had almost eliminated polio however, few cases were reported along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
He mentioned that rapid progress in artificial intelligence and other technology tools was making early diagnosis possible for a number of diseases.
He also underscored the need for improved infrastructure for the treatment of mental ailments, adding Pakistan had a low number of psychiatrists and psychologists and there should be more focus on providing treatment to people through online services.
Earlier Begum Samina Alvi gave away recognition awards among health practitioners contributing to the health sector.
A number of cancer survivors including prominent actor Nadia Jamil also shared their struggle with the deadly disease and their eventual recovery.
The representatives of Siemens highlighted their efforts for ensuring better diagnostic facilities for patients.