About The Women's Empowerment Group -- WEG
A group of young motivated professionals, working for the uplift of society on individual basis, in 1999 in Lahore decided to institutionalize their activities and work together with special emphasis on the rights of women and children.
It's a not-for profit, non-governmental organization, Registered as a Trust, works diligently for the socio-economic development and empowerment of the disadvantaged sections of the society at the grassroots level. We firmly believe that the most effective tool is empowering women, the builders of future.
Reproductive Health Manual
Gender Sensitization Workshop
Women's Entrepreneurship Project
Girl Child Education Program
Thus, so far projects undertaken by WEG reflect the same.
And in doing so we realized that one fatal and lethal danger to women was regarding their health, careless towards their health, they often tend to ignore many things. With the high incidence of CA breast patients pouring in at the tertiary care hospitals and that too at very late stage, gave us food for thought, motivating us to launch an effective and efficient campaign to create awareness regarding CANCER OF BREAST.
The hope is that, if caught at an early stage, CA Breast can be cured and we have living examples amidst us.
Why this Campaign?
A young women of 30 dying of CA Breast is not merely a death of an individual or a female in fact it's the first step towards the destruction of healthy home, insecurity for her children and misery for the whole family.
Its that one whole institution comes to a halt, a standstill. And in a country like Pakistan with feminine population constituting almost 50% of the total population, and with females of all ages exposed to this fatal disease, creating awareness amidst all and sundry becomes mandatory.
Its so ironic and incongruous that females, young, adults and old are dying and they don't have the slightest idea what is that killing them. A lump in the breast is what they take so lightly and it is that what gives them the horrifying shock, a shock that turns their life upside down. But if caught at early stage, breast cancer has a better prognosis as compared to other types of cancer, even so much so that it is curable.
Very scary statistics about the risk of developing breast cancer abound; for example the oft-quoted ? in 9?lifetime risk of getting breast cancer. While this lifetime average maybe correct, the average post-menopausal woman at the age 60 has an absolute risk for getting breast cancer in the next five years of 1.6 percent or about 1 in 60 - a lot less frightening than the 1 in 9 lifetime statistics.
Breast cancer incidence increases with age, rising sharply after age 40. About 77 percent of invasive breast cancers occur in women over age 50. Average age at diagnosis is 64.
Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital, is one hospital that receives cancer patients from all around the country, from remote areas as well as from posh areas.
According to their data collection department the incidence of breast cancer is one rise, and its not limited to post-menopausal females, even young females, early twenties and late twenties are coming to them with this deadly disease. Within last five years of all the cancer cases that have been reported to this institute, 25% have been of breast cancer.
Alarmingly high percentage as compared all other cancers, another disturbing aspect is that out of the 3000 patients coming with the complaints of breast cancer 42 have been male patients. Therefore males can't be labeled SAFE.
If one keeps in view the present incidence then only in the year 2002, more than 35,000 females should report to only Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital with breast cancer.
And mind it, this is one institute we are talking about, all the other tertiary hospitals of Pakistan are not being taken into consideration. According to the latest studies taking place, the incidence of breast cancer is definitely on rise in Pakistan, in the West predisposing factors include early menarche, late menopause, no breast feeding, no pregnancy and dietary factors however in Pakistan the role of BRCA genes is more active, that is a positive family history.
And may be this is why younger females pouring in with the signs and symptoms of breast cancer.
Lack of awareness and ignorance is devouring the lives of females belonging to all age group. So, far government has done Nothing to create awareness regarding the breast cancer, this is very essential because if caught at a very early stage the prognosis is great, they are many women around us who were diagnosed at the right time and today are living a very normal life.
Because, today, the surgeries and treatments have become more and more advanced, sophisticated and modern. The mastectomy no more is a social stigma because in Pakistan only we have the best of surgeons specializing in breast reconstruction surgery. The results are amazing especially when this cosmetic surgery is done in collaboration with a plastic surgery.
The females should realize that their life that the foundation of a house depends on an educated mother. Thus living with a fear after discovering a lump in the breast, is nothing but sheer coward ness, its destroying a home, family. As timely treatment can possibly cure the disease.
Thus we Believe in creating awareness regarding CA breast, convincing females to consult their lady health visitors and doctors and far mostly not to panic if there is a lump in the breast, just be bold enough to talk and seek for the proper consultation.
What is this campaign?
In the first stage of the campaign we are focussing on:
Training of the Lady Health Visitors, Social Health Workers, working in the peripheral areas, so they may educate as many possible females regarding the disease and if discover any new cases, refer them to tertiary care units or to the team of doctors working with us. Besides work as a support group, be effective counsellors for those already suffering with the disease.
Media Awareness, both print and electronic media. This is a very effective tool as today print as well as electronic has the power to change the thoughts and approach towards anything. Using this power we plan to educate and create awareness females around the country, encouraging them to self-examination and consulting their doctor, lady health visitor and so forth.
Its important that we should start talking about this hazard faced by our females openly so that the uneducated and underprivileged females should know of the disease as its more fatal than Tuberculosis and as fatal as Hepatitis B,C and Aids. Though not infectious but its certainly fatal.
Lobbying in the power corridors and decision makers.
To work as an advocacy group so that all the drugs, testing and therapy imported to Pakistan is duty free.
Creating a network at the National Level amongst the small groups already existing for the same cause.
Collection of Data at the National Level
Research work based on the causes responsible for the disease i.e. CA BREAST in our part of the world.
Committee of the campaign
1. Maj.Gen.(R) Dr.Zaheer Uddin
Ex-Principal, Army Medical College
Ex-Chief Physician to President of Pakistan
2. Dr. Anjum Amjad
MPA, Government of Punjab
3. Mrs. Rafaqat Monnoo
SKMT Support Group
4. Ms. Shaheen Khan
Secretary, Rotary Club Lahore Central
5. Mr. Ansar Javaid
Commissioner Income Tax, Lahore Zone-C
6. Ms. Mariam Khan
Trustee, Women's Empowerment Group
7. Mrs. Fakhara Afzal
President, Women Journalist Association
8. Mr. Arif Said
9. Dr. Zeba Aziz, Oncologist
9. Dr. Ayesha tu Zahra, Psychiatrist/Journalist
10. Ms. Cheri Powers, Volunteer
11. Mr. Omer Aftab
Panel of Experts:
1. Lt.Gen.(R) Mahmood-Ul-Hasan, FRCS, H.I.(M), Surgeon
2. Col.(R) Saleem Siddiqi, Oncologist
3. Lt.Col. Mamoon, FCPS-FRCS, Plastic Surgeon
LINK to Pakistani Women's
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