Peshawar: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Finance Engineer Muhammad Humayun Khan has disclosed that in Pakistan every year more than three lakh cases of deadly disease cancer are reported and to cope with the same number of cancer patients within the existing 20 cancer hospitals throughout the country, is a big challenge for the government. However, he expressed the hope that efforts were underway on war footings to cope with the disease.
He was addressing as chief guest the World Cancer Day function arranged at the Khyber Girls Medical College, Peshawar in collaboration with the Bank of Khyber on Saturday. Principal of KGMC Dr. Muhammad Zuber, Vice Principal Samina Zahid, doctors and a large number of medical students attended the function.
The provincial finance minister said unluckily there were no official statistics available on cancer patients in Pakistan due to absence of a national cancer registry.
He said due to lack of correct data, the government had not been able to formulate policies to fight cancer which threatened public life on a large scale.
The minister said cancer patients were showing an alarmingly increasing trend of risk factors and it was the need of the hour to develop a strategy to control the disease.
He disclosed that a cancer plan was initiated in 2002 together with all the other non-communicable diseases (NCDs) as a national action plan for the prevention and control of NCDs and health promotion but that was not enough. He said they needed to do more and devise a multipronged strategy to combat cancer.
The minister said the govt had taken certain measures for fighting cancer but due to legislation procedure and other matters the same could not yet be properly enforced and implemented.
He said despite ban on publicity of tobacco and its allied products, there were no follow up practical steps to ensure its enforcement. He said a clamp down on the epidemic levels of tobacco and areca nut, use of the same products could be reduced to 43.7% in males and 17.8% in females.
The minister stressed the need for urgent action against cancer because of its huge impact on human suffering.
He said the number of cancer cases seemed to be doubled by 2030. He said the study around the globe indicated that one third of all cancer cases could be prevented and urged the health experts to divert mostly on the preventive measure to reduce cancer.
Principal of the KGMC Dr. Muhammad Zuber and Dr. Rauf Khattak also spoke on the occasion and underlined the need for strenuous efforts on govt and nongovernmental levels to combat cancer. Dr. Tausif Khan presented welcome address and highlighted aims and objectives of the World Cancer Day.
Earlier, medical students of the KGMC presented their detailed presentations on the deadly disease cancer. They identified to the audience that collective efforts should be done to combat cancer.
They also explained different aspects of the disease and threw light on the body organs which are basically effected by the disease.
Later, the minister gave away certificates to the overall best students in their presentations on cancer. The principal of KGMC also presented a shield to the minister finance.