Press Conference

“In 2011 alone, CCH spent over 96 million rupees for the treatment of children suffering from cancer and over 80 percent of patients were treated free of cost”. This was said by renowned pediatric oncologist and CEO Children Cancer Hospital, Dr. Shamvil Ashraf. He was addressing a press conference at Karachi Press Club on the occasion of World Cancer Day and 10 year anniversary of CCH. He was accompanied by another pediatric Oncologist Syed Ahmar Hamid and Trustee of Children Cancer Foundation (CCF) Atiqur Rahman.
He further said “Loss of weight among children with fever, headache, getting yellowish in colour, appearance of tumors in the body, and prolonged swelling that is resistant to medicines are some of the early signs and warnings of cancers among children”.
Citing WHO guidelines, Dr. Shamvil said daily walk and exercise, use of fresh vegetables and fruits, avoiding smoking and drinking and vaccinating against Hepatitis B and HPV could prevent 30 percent deaths. Avoiding use of betel leaves and nuts, Gutka, and other use of chewing tobaccos could prevent thousands from getting oral cancer, he added.
Responding to a query, Dr Shamvil said there is no known cause for childhood cancers including blood cancers, lymphomas and tumours, but there is definitely a direct link between tobacco-use and cancer. “Weight loss, frequent fever, loss of appetite, swelling of glands, visible tumors on the body and frequent pain are some of the symptoms, which requires parents to take their children to the child oncologist for a medical advice.”
He said their press conference was aimed at creating awareness about prevalence of cancer among Pakistanis, especially in children and highlighting their activities for the awareness of common people and general physicians on the eve of World Cancer Day, observed 4th of February every year.
In addition to treatment of cancers among children, the hospital is striving hard to create awareness about cancers as well as training of doctors, Dr. Shamvil informed, adding that currently, very few doctors in Pakistan had the specialty of treating cancers among children.
Speaking about World Cancer Day, he said Children Cancer Hospital will be holding “Public Awareness Programs” on February 4, 2012, a children activity on February 15 on the eve of International Children Cancer Day and Continued Medical Education (CME) for doctors on February 09 at CCH located at Ayesha Manzil Karachi.
At CCH, 18020 children suffering from cancers of various types were provided OPD treatment while 7762 patients were admitted and given quality treatment in 2011 alone, he informed.
On the occasion, he appealed masses, especially media to support CCH and Children Cancer Foundation in its fight against cancer in children and support them in dissemination of information in this regard.
This press conference was reported in renowned newspapers like Dawn , Business Recorder and Tribune .