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Higher Education Commission, Pink Ribbon Ink MoU for Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign in Universities of Pakistan

Islamabad: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) and the Pink Ribbon signed on Tuesday a Memorandum of Understanding for Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign in the higher education institutions of the country.

Dr. Javaid R. Laghari, Chairperson HEC was the chief guest on the occasion while Ms. Fariba Shiraz Thomson, Chairperson, Pink Ribbon Pakistan was the Guest of Honour. Dr. Sohail Naqvi, Executive Director, HEC and Mr. Omar Aftab, National Coordinator, Pink Ribbon Pakistan signed the agreement.

The MoU is a follow-up of a meeting held in August this year between Dr. Laghari and Ms. Thomson. It was decided in the meeting that HEC would make a Task Force for advocacy campaign of Pink Ribbon Campaign and Dr. Samina Amin Qadir, Vice Chancellor, Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi was nominated as the Focal person for the Campaign.

It was also decided that two Focal Persons will be nominated from HEIs of each province, who will work and coordinate with all the Vice Chancellors and Steering Committee of the Pink Ribbon Awareness Campaign.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Laghari underlined the seriousness of the disease. He said that over 1.5 million higher education students across the country can play an important role in spreading awareness about the disease.

“According to a recent report, 50 per cent of our population lives below poverty line and, in this scenario, the gravity of the situation needs more focused and passionate effort to reach at the grassroots level,” he said. The Chairperson appreciated the Pink Ribbon for its role in curbing the disease.

Dr. Sohail Naqvi said this is a big social issue which needs immediate measures. “We will use all our considerable resources for success of this campaign. Extra efforts will be made for conducting meaningful research in this area. We must understand that this is a problem which is very closer to our own homes and it needs a concerted and consistent approach to be dealt with,” he said.

Ms. Fariba Shiraz Thomson thanked the Higher Education Commission for acknowledging significance of the issue and join hand with the Pink Ribbon for spreading awareness throughout universities of the country.

Dr. Samina Amin said that HEC has become a Strategic Partner of the Pink Ribbon Pakistan, for extending research and development, academic and technical support for the breast cancer awareness through provision of its outreach, human resource and facilities.

HEC and Pink Ribbon will jointly initiate research projects on different aspects of Breast Cancer in Pakistan, besides holding Continuing Professional Education seminars and workshops to highlight different aspects of breast cancer. HEC will disseminate awareness through all available communication channels.

In this regard, the first awareness seminar was organized by Fatima Jinnah Women University on October 13, 2011 for students of the University, which catered to over 200 students. Another seminar was organized on October 28, 2011 for the female staff members of HEC, spouses of male members and focal persons of 16 HEIs of universities of the twin cities.

Forthcoming plans also include a road show to be organized all over Pakistan for awareness of masses on breast cancer causes and precautions. HEC and Pink Ribbon will form a working group for need assessment and formulation of action plan for next five years.

For more information, contact:
Aayesha Ikram
Director (Media)
Higher Education Commission
Sector H-9, Islamabad
Tel: 90402404, 90402412
Email: aikram@hec.gov.pk
Website: www.hec.gov.pk

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