SC summons federal and provincial health secretaries in lieu of increasing breast cancer cases

The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday summoned the federal and provincial health secretaries while taking notice of the soaring breast cancer cases across the country.

The SC heard the case after taking notice of the rising number of breast cancer patients. A two-member bench headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed noted that no government hospital had the tools for detection of the disease, facilities of mammography or breast cancer treatment. Adding to that, the CJ noted that majority of women are unable to afford costly treatment of the disease.

Over the lack of treatment mechanism, the expressed dismay over the lack of treatment by giving directive to the authorities to induct women in panels of specialists treating the disease while calling for segregation of women patients at all hospitals.

After issuing summons to the federal and provincial health secretaries, the apex court adjourned the hearing for a month.

It is pertinent to note that breast cancer fatality rates in Pakistan are highest in Asia. At least 90,000 new cases are diagnosed every year across the country. Annually, around 40,000 women lose their life to it.

It merits mention that last month, the CJ had inaugurated the building of the Pink Ribbon Hospital which is the first-ever dedicated breast cancer hospital not only in Pakistan but around the world.

Justice Ahmed at the occasion questioned how the deaths of over 40,000 women due to breast cancer each year could be neglected. He stated that every institute and department should consider this matter immediately and establish breast cancer hospitals across the country for an early diagnosis and prompt treatment.

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