Written By: Col Amin-ul-Haq (R)
World Cancer Day is an international day observed each year on February 4 to raise awareness of cancer and encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment. The day targets misinformation, raises awareness, and reduces stigma.
Having emerged as a survivor of cancer myself, I decided to support cancer patients and families and established the “Hayat-e-Nau Welfare Trust”. Since its inception, the platform has been regularly utilized for organizing various events/sessions to raise cancer awareness and support suffering individuals and families. Latest in the series was “Cancer Day” which was organized at CMH Rawalpindi on February 4, 2017. There were two different programmes, one for Oncology Ward (Male & Female) and second for Paediatric Oncology. Volunteers from Army Medical College and members of CMH Nutrition Department deserve ample thanks, as they actively augmented the efforts of our Trust.
Oncology Ward was beautifully decorated with balloons and colourful buntings. Maj Gen Zahid Hamid, Commandant CMH Rawalpindi and Maj Gen Iftikhar Hussain, DG Medicine and Advisor Oncology CMH Rawalpindi were the chief guests. As the respected Commandant could not make it due to some emergency, Deputy Commandant Brig Muhammad Sarwar Khan attended the event. Other participants included cancer patients, their families, volunteers, a group of survivors, oncologists and nutritionists. Importance of the day was highlighted, followed by address from Maj Gen Iftikhar Hussain, who informed the audience about how the Army was looking after its patients including affected personnel. Candles were lit by the cancer survivors as a symbol of hope for the patients. Later, a team of volunteers/survivors along with the chief guest visited Oncology Ward to distribute gifts and informative booklets on cancer. At the end, certificates of appreciation prepared by the Trust were awarded to the volunteers by the chief guest. The event ended with Duaa by Lt Col Nadeem Paracha (Oncologist) for the recovery and well-being of all patients.
Paediatric Oncology/Family Wing
Here, Begum Maj Gen Zahid Hamid, Commandant CMH Rawalpindi was the chief guest, who had been very keen on holding such cancer awareness programmes. There were around forty young patients along with their families. Volunteers had been busy decorating this ward
for the past few days. On February 4, we spent time with the young patients and indulged in some playful activities, like face paintings etc. to cheer them up. Special cakes were prepared and cut at this occasion. Gift hampers with coloured pencils, writing pads, toys and information booklets were distributed among kids and their families. The colourful activity was a source of delight for the innocent young patients as they were happy to see so many people showing love and care for them. Overall, the event was a source of great satisfaction for the organizers as well as the participants.