Women face an alarmingly high gap in healthcare access in Pakistan coupled with the fact that we have the highest incidence of breast cancer in Asia*, with a mortality rate above 50%**.
In 2022 alone, more than 25,000** women were diagnosed with breast cancer and worryingly, one out of eight Pakistani women is at risk of developing breast cancer.
Additionally, more than 5000** Pakistani women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year with 3197** reported deaths. While cervical cancer remains the second most common cancer in women, ovarian cancer also saw the reporting of 4326** cases in 2022.
This high prevalence stems from a plethora of reasons: lack of awareness, fear around stigmatization and positive diagnoses, affordability, inadequate infrastructure, and distance to screening sites. While unfortunately, women face barriers at every stage of their disease journey, early diagnosis makes these cancers preventable and treatable.
Here at Roche Pakistan, we are committed to women’s health at every stage of their lives. We aspire to provide innovative healthcare and play a transformative role in all stages of women’s cancers; from initial diagnostics right through support during treatment. And thus our Umeed-e-Nau initiative is part of Roche Pakistan’s broader vision of prioritizing Women’s Health.
Through this initiative, we hope to address the disparities that prohibit women from receiving appropriate care, while tackling some of the continuing challenges, such as at the screening site, where capacity issues, untrained service providers, lack of support from the family, and high-continued cost and access issues hinder timely diagnosis and treatment.
In a pilot program across Karachi and Lahore, Roche Pakistan in collaboration with Greenstar, one of Pakistan’s most prominent NGOs working in reproductive and women’s health, aims at increasing early detection and improving integrated healthcare delivery and support systems for breast, ovarian and cervical cancers.
The program targets women across all age groups and stages of the patient journey, by providing awareness, screening, and paving the way for affordable and timely treatment.
By creating this platform to listen, support, and champion women, and enable women to have an active and informed role in their healthcare decisions, Roche hopes to lead a sustainable transformation in women’s health.
We strongly believe that by pursuing innovative, integrated care models; improving care delivery; and supporting systems with a holistic women-centred approach, we can address the unmet needs of millions of women nationwide.
Because Pakistani women deserve better care. And this is our first step towards that long journey that will see better health outcomes for women’s cancers.