For a vast majority of Pakistani women, lacking access to resources due to social taboos and language barriers, awareness about serious health conditions they may be at risk of is hard to come by.
Enter Pink Pakistan, a cancer trust that has launched the first-ever digital application to create awareness about breast cancer and provide free of charge treatment to patients in Pakistan.
“The Pink Pakistan Trust is committed to the mission of ensuring the health and well-being of Pakistani women,” the trust announced in a statement.
Quoting the International Agency for Research on Cancer, it reiterated that breast cancer was the most common type of cancer among Pakistani women. With 25,928 cases reported last year alone, as many as 13,725 Pakistan women have lost their lives to the illness.
There is no doubt that limited health infrastructure, lack of awareness, and social taboos around the disease have exacerbated the situation in Pakistan.
"To counter this challenge, Pink Pakistan Trust has launched a digital initiative to build its outreach in every nook and corner of the country for the women who do not have the means to seek professional medical help or counseling services to fight breast cancer,” the trust said in its statement.
According to Dr Zubaida Qazi, the president of Pink Pakistan, early detection is the key to defeating breast cancer. “Our application will create the much-needed awareness about the disease and will help the users to perform self-examination regularly and easily to detect breast cancer early,” she added.
The application itself comes equipped with features that teach users to examine themselves for the tell-tales signs of breast cancer, allow them to book an appointment with cancer specialists and participate in discussions with other users in a forum. Crucially, the app is accessible in local languages.
One of the most common symptoms of breast cancer is the formation of a lump in the breast that grows with time and causes pain to the patient.
Owing to the shame associated with this disease in the society, many women choose not to speak about it, even to their family members. Consequently, late diagnosis remains a leading cause of breast cancer fatalities in Pakistan.
By providing step-by-step video tutorials for self-examination, the app aims to facilitate awareness and early diagnosis.
Based on the outcome of the self-examination process, the app will direct users to a list of doctors with whom they can reserve an appointment at a time of their convenience free of charge.
Pink Pakistan hosts a pool of qualified and experienced doctors and therapists across the country who have been frontline warriors in the battle against this disease.
One of the main sources of support for cancer patients is hearing stories from survivors, and receiving guidance from experts. The app caters to this need through an online discussion forum where users can ask questions freely without any judgement, learn from the experience of others and prepare themselves to win their fight against the breast cancer.
Besides Urdu and English, the application has been made available in major Pakistani regional languages – including Sindhi, Punjabi, Balochi and Pashto – to increase its outreach in the community.
The application does not necessarily require an internet connection to function, as its features can be accessed through the calling service as well.
The Pink Pakistan App can be installed from the following link:
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