By: Munaj Gul Muhammad
Balochistan is the largest province of the Pakistan by area, which covers 44% of Pakistan but least by population. It has been suffering from manifold challenges from the very beginning and many deaths were caused just due to poverty, corruption and the negligence of the provincial & federal governments.
Beyond, Balochistan is combating against numerous catastrophic diseases but during past couple of years, the numbers of cancer patients have increased so far manifold families have lost their loved ones.
Despite being the largest and most contributing province in terms of economy, Balochistan does not have a single cancer hospital. Howbeit, everyone knows how cancer has separated children from their beloved parents and vice versa.
Cancer has become a serious threat to the people of all ages in Balochistan owing to the non-availability of a cancer hospital across the region. Several patients are diagnosed cancer when they are in third or fourth stage in hospitals outside of the province.
Unfortunately, in the last several years the number of cancer patients in Balochistan has increased, claiming lives of many families.
According to the World Health Organisation, cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide and accounted for 7.6 million deaths (around 13 per cent of all deaths) in 2008, about 70 per cent of which occurred in low- and middle-income countries.
A resident of Turbat Siraj Ahmed states, “We the people of Balochistan less die in our natural deaths but most of us lost precious lives due by diseases such as cancer, diabetes or mental illness because of the lack of the fundamental healthcare facilities”.
“Balochistan has departed a lot of its beloved children owing to cancer, despite that no serious action has been taken to defeat the cancer from responsible authorities. Neither the provincial government nor the federal government is interested to establish a cancer hospital in the province.” Mr. Siraj Ahmed added.
Additionally, Cancer is caused by tobacco, infectious organism, unhealthy diet and many more. The researchers have estimated that around 148,000 cases were emerged in Pakistan between 2012– 2014 years, Pakistan recorded the highest number of deaths rate of breast cancer in Asia. Unfortunately, cancer is also spreading in Balochistan where there are no quality of facilities for the treatment of cancer.
Before few months in 2018, Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan announced for establishing a cancer hospital in Quetta, which gave a great hope to the people of Balochistan but sadly all in vain.
In addition, the Prime Minister Imran Khan’s promise would take us in a better tomorrow to live if he really fulfills his promise to start the process in establishing a cancer hospital in Balochistan. This epidemic victimized very large number of our lives and due to which we still fear for losing more.
Although, it looks cancer has defeated us, but we have to fight against it boldly. No doubt, efforts by civil society and non-profit organizations to combat cancer are countless. We still need to work harder to secure more donations for setting up a cancer hospital where patients could be treated free.
Furthermore, the chief minister of Balochistan was also told to build a cancer hospital; might he would do the needful. However, the promises of the leaders only remain dreams for the people to come true.
Aziz Hasil, a social activist based in Kech states,” In Balochistan several campaigns were launched to push the government toward concrete steps of establishing a Cancer Hospital in Balochistan, but yet no step has been taken seriously.”
“The Rehan Rind Foundation seems deeply committed to fulfilling Rehan`s dream of establishing a free cancer hospital in Balochistan and the federal and provincial government must to do the needful.” Mr. Hasil further added.
Hammal Zafar is 13 years old boy who belongs to Kech distract. He is suffering from blood cancer and his father cannot afford the expensive of the treatment of cancer, due to belonging to a middle class family. Forth-with, recently there was a campaign for donation in different areas of Balochistan to assist the suffering family financially. It is, too, splendid to have the donation for the patients, but at the same time it is very tough to manage the required money and it seems beautiful if Balochistan government establishes a cancer hospital in the province.
Establishment of cancer hospital in Balochistan, which might take some time, but before that, the provincial health department should launch awareness campaigns in all district headquarters hospitals of the province about the disease and its prevention.
It is also the responsibility of the government to support effected individuals financially throughout the course of their treatment.
The writer is pursuing LLB (Hons) Law at the School of Law, University of Turbat. He regularly contributes at Daily Times, Balochistan Point who is also a part time English Language teacher at Dynamic English Language Teaching Academy (DELTA). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Published in The Balochistan Point on February 10, 2019