28 October 2015, Islamabad: The Sahaara Group and Pink Ribbon, Pakistan in collaboration with Serena Hotel hosted a ‘Pink Coffee Evening’ to support and raise funds for Pakistan’s first Breast Cancer Hospital.
Ambassador of France, H.E. Martine Dorance was chief guest at the event while multiple diplomats, including President International Foreign Women Association Jasmina Makarevic attended the evening to pledge their support for the cause and the hospital.
The awareness event highlighted that Pakistan has the highest rate of female breast cancer in Asia, as one out of nine Pakistani women are likely to suffer from breast cancer at some point in their life. Approximately 90,000 cases of breast cancer are reported every year in Pakistan and an estimated 40,000 women die from this deadly ailment. 90% of diagnosed women have a chance of surviving breast cancer with early diagnosis; however due to a lack of awareness and medical facilities, women are diagnosed at later stages, which is one of the main causes of the high mortality rate.
Chief Executive of Pink Ribbon, Mr. Omer Aftab thanked the diplomatic community for their support. He mentioned that despite Breast Cancer claiming such a large percentage of lives annually there is still a lack of medical facilities for this disease. He stressed the need to cater for patients by providing medical services for Breast Cancer. Mr Aftab said, “Pink Ribbon is building Pakistan’s first dedicated Breast Cancer hospital and the campaign needs extensive support to build this hospital to ensure that none of us will have to bear the horror of losing a mother, a sister, a wife or a daughter.”
Chief Guest, H.E. Martine Dorance lauded the initiative taken by Sahaara, Serena Hotels and Pink Ribbon to host the event. She stressed the need to host more awareness events such as these to highlight the prevalent issues related to Breast Cancer within Pakistan. She said it was important to hear the stories of survivors and learn from their experiences.
President International Foreign Women Association Jasmina Makarevic reiterated support for Pink Ribbon. She also offered space in IFWA’s building to set up an awareness and screening clinic.
The Sahaara Group is an association formed by a group of friends actively engaged with promoting positive change in the community. Its members consist of Ms. Asma Rashid Khan, Ms. Mahreen Khan, Ms. Fareeha Hasan, Ms. Ilona Yusuf, Ms. Wiqarunnisa Boolani, Madame Jasmina Makarevic (Wife of Bosnian Ambassador) and Madame Zangah Mosazai (Wife of Afghan Ambassador, Lawyer).
October is internationally celebrated as Pinktober – Breast Cancer Awareness Month. During this month, Pink Ribbon is running an extensive awareness campaign, targeting over 100,000 young females. The campaign also organizes various events to sensitize women and girls at the community level through direct interaction. Furthermore, Pinktober 2015 is running different events throughout October to increase maximum awareness and build strong networks of hope.
Jehanzeb Ghafoor – Corporate Marketing Department – Serena Hotels