Thursday June 20, 2024

‘1,000 to 1,200 children diagnosed with cancer every year in Karachi alone’

By M. Waqar Bhatti
August 13, 2018

Every year about 1,000 to 1,200 children develop various types of cancers in Karachi alone; however, early diagnosis and timely treatment can help the children fight the deadly disease.

This was stated by Dr Shamvil Ashraf, executive director of medical services at the Indus Health Network and founder of the Pediatric Oncology Services at The Indus Hospital, at a Childhood Cancer Survivors' Day event organised by the Psycho-Social Department of the hospital on Saturday.

The event takes place annually to highlight the journey of cancer patients, create awareness of childhood cancer among patients and the community, recognise the determination and resolve of their caregivers, express solidarity with families going through the ordeal and to appreciate dedicated medical practitioners, healthcare professionals, volunteers and supporters.

The chief executive officer of The Indus Hospital, Dr Abdul Bari Khan, also addressed the occasion, thanking the donors for their generous support. Patients of the Pediatric Oncology Department, their caregivers, different celebrities, faculty and board members of the hospital attended the event.

Over 50 long-term survivors of childhood cancer, many of whom are accomplished professionals today, also attended the event. One such survivor was Sabica Kulsoom, the host for the evening, heading a finance and audit organisation.

“Now my statement is truly justified that cancer is a blessing for me. It gave me strength to live a happier and more energetic life. I did all this because I think we as cancer survivors are stronger than others," she mentioned in her speech.

The tearjerker of the evening was an activity that highlighted glimpses into the journeys of cancer survivors of all ages with emotional messages such as “I used to be scared of nurses. Now they are my friends”, “Being repeatedly poked and prodded by cannula to find a good vein hurt too much”, “Chemo felt like fire flowing through my veins”, and “I felt as if I was swinging between life and death”.