11 universities formulate strategy against breast cancer

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Rawalpindi : Eleven leading universities of twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad held a joint consultative meeting on Saturday at Rawalpindi Medical University to formulate a joint strategy against breast cancer.

The participating universities were Rawalpindi Medical University (RMU), Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU), Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto University, Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU), Isra University Islamabad, Riphah University Islamabad, Government College Women University, Rawalpindi, National University of Medical Sciences, Islamabad, Shifa Tamir-e-Milat University, Islamabad, COMSATS University, Islamabad, NORI Hospital, Islamabad, Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi.

This is first time chancellors, vice chancellors, pro-vice chancellors and focal persons of all major universities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, medical and non-medical gathered for noble cause to evolve a joint strategy and model of awareness and screening of breast cancer in twin cities and northern Punjab.

Main objectives of the meeting were uniform, standardised training module and structured awareness programme for prevention of breast cancer. To develop a database of female faculty, students, supports staff and families of workers of universities. Affiliated colleges and institutions. Each university will implement the agreed model of training for capacity building and structured awareness campaign in there institutions. This will lead to capacity building of universities and allied institution to spread this programme further in the community.

In second phase, RMU and Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto University will launch the programme to the community. RMU has already planned Rawalpindi Breast Cancer Free City Initiative. Screening will be launched as soon as the COVID-19 is over. Rawalpindi has a population of 2.5 million out of which 0.3 million females need screening between the age of 40-65. Dedicated breast cancer awareness corner will be established in each university and dedicated focal person will be nominated. The network of the university forum will establish a secretariat in RMU and hold monthly meeting in each university subsequently.

Quaid-i-Azam University and Fatima Jinnah Women University will arrange meeting in next two months. The data shared by the universities will be used as central registry of 11 universities. This pool data will also be used for research purpose.

Prof. Muhammad Ali, vice chancellor, QAU will be the chairperson, while Dr. Saima Hamid, vice chancellor FJWU, Prof. Tanvir Khaliq, vice chancellor, Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto University will be the co-chairs. Dr. Muhammad Faheem, director NORI Hospital and Dr. Humaira will work on referral system of breast cancer patients and treatment guidelines. RMU will be the convener of the programme.

Alama Iqbal Open University and Comsats university will develop an application for online training and awareness model.

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