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Int’l experts urge Pakistan to establish national cancer registry, support research on cancer treatment

September 25, 2022

National and international scientists and health experts have urged the health authorities in Pakistan to establish a ‘National Cancer Registry’ to ascertain the prevalence of disease in the country and also called for supporting the academic institutions in conducting research on different types of cancer.

The presented these demands at the concluding session of a three-day IPVS satellite symposium on “Human Papillomavirus and Cervical Cancer”, at the International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi, on Saturday.

Experts attending the international symposium were also of the opinion that research institutions like Dr Panjwani Centre for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research (PCMD), University of Karachi, must carry out research on papillomavirus and cervical cancer with an adequate financial support from the government.

Dr Panjwani Centre organised the IPVS satellite symposium in which scientists participated from 14 countries, including Germany, Belgium, the USA, the UK, Iran, Sweden, Indonesia, China, Cameron, Greece, Jordan, Nepal, Kazakhstan and Sudan.

Speaking at the symposium’s concluding ceremony, Prof Dr M. Iqbal Choudhary, director of the International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences, and COMSTECH Coordinator General, said the National Institute of Virology at Dr Panjwani Centre was currently engaged in research on various viral diseases. Three fourth of disease burdens were related to viral diseases, he mentioned.

He said the main objective of IPVS satellite symposium was to expand scientific knowledge to benefit the whole community for the prevention of human papillomavirus-related infections and cancers, especially cervical cancer, and to bring both young and experienced scientists together from all regions of the world to find out solutions to all these problems. There was no doubt that well-coordinated research, policymaking and entrepreneurship was an ultimate hope, he said.

Prof Dr Thomas Iftner, director of University Clinic Tuebingen, Germany, in his speech, presented a strong commitment to strengthen virology-related research in Pakistan.

In the closing ceremony, the international delegates praised the organisation of the symposium, and termed the hospitality, love and sincerity of Pakistani people as phenomenal. Prof Iqbal Choudhary and other senior foreign scientists presented certificates to the participants.

On Friday, national and international health experts and scientists had told the symposium that cervical cancer has become the third most common cancer in Pakistan after head and neck and breast cancers, and around 64 per cent Pakistani women who have this cancer die as they only report this disease when it becomes almost incurable in the third or the fourth stage of cancer. As talking about reproductive health of women is considered as a taboo in Pakistani society, many women don’t let their families know about their health condition, especially in case of cervical cancer and only go to see the healthcare providers when their disease has progressed to the last stage, experts said.

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