Pink lights illuminated Minar-i-Pakistan on Sunday evening to raise awareness on breast cancer. The change of lights was organised by the Pink Ribbon Campaign and the Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) for the International Mammogram Day.
The colour is associated with Pinktober, the breast cancer awareness month celebrated in October across the world. According to Pink Ribbon Organisation Pakistan has the highest breast cancer incidence in Asia, with one out of 9 women likely to be diagnosed of the disease.
Nearly 90,000 breast cancer cases are reported every year. Pink Ribbon estimates that 40,000 women die from breast cancer every year.
“Despite these figures, there is a 90 per cent chance of recovery with an early diagnosis. Lack of awareness about the diseases and diagnostic facilities, however, leads to late diagnosis which is why many women lose their lives to the disease,” says Omer Aftab, chief executive of the Pink Ribbon campaign.
He says the lighting initiative would raise awareness about breast cancer. “People hesitate to discuss the issue because of cultural norms,” he says.
“It is important for people to realise the importance of early detection to save the life of a mother, a sister, a wife or a daughter,” he says.
He says the Pink Ribbon is setting up Pakistan’s first hospital dedicated to breast cancer treatment.
PHA spokesman Javed Shaida appreciated the initiative, saying lack of awareness has affected public health. He said the PHA would continue to extend support for such events.
The Pink Ribbon Campaign will raise awareness among female students by providing reading material at such events. Over the years, many monuments, including the Empire State building, the White House, the Eiffel Tower and the Sydney Opera House, have been illuminated with pink lights to raise awareness on breast cancer. Last year, Liberty Roundabout turned pink under the Pinktober campaign on breast cancer awareness.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 26th, 2015.