Years After Promises, Balochistan Still Lacks Cancer Treatment

Years After Promises, Balochistan Still Lacks Cancer Treatment
Without a doubt, Balochistan is unequivocally neglected by our leaders, politicians, activists, and government. Balochistan has consistently exemplified a range of global issues, encompassing a feeble education sector, poverty, poor health conditions, a soaring suicide rate, inflation, and more. These challenges pose immense difficulties for the state.

Notably, from 1947 up until today, Balochistan continues to lack fundamental necessities in the province: cancer hospitals. This scarcity has had a profound impact on the citizens of Balochistan. Moreover, acute poverty persists in Balochistan, to the extent that some areas face food insecurity.

Amid such extremities, the only solution for residents of Pakistan's largest province by land mass is to make an arduous, hours-long journey to the closest major metropolis, Karachi in neighbouring Sindh province.

This raises pressing questions: how can individuals seek treatment in Karachi if they are struggling to secure even two meals a day? It is a harsh reality for impoverished residents of Balochistan.

Unfortunately, this question remains unanswered.

In Karachi's hospitals, the cost of patient treatment is exorbitant for the people of Balochistan, rendering it unaffordable for poor families.

Consequently, the people of Balochistan face obstacles in accessing timely treatment, diminishing their chances of survival.

Furthermore, cancer prevails as a dangerous threat in areas devoid of cancer hospitals and essential facilities. Notably, the most prevalent risk factors for cancer are the consumption of chewable tobacco, cigarettes, and alcohol, which are readily available in markets and accessible to individuals of all ages.

According to reports, Quetta recorded 10,924 cancer cases from 1998 to 2009, and an additional 10,000 cases were identified between 2014 and 2017, with a majority of them being women afflicted with breast cancer.

On social and electronic media, we frequently come across multiple families appealing for donations in the name of God. Unfortunately, they fail to capture the media's attention due to their residence in a backward province where deprivation is widespread.

During his visit to Quetta, former Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan had promised to set up a cancer hospital for Balochistan. The people of Balochistan were hopeful that the ex-prime minister would fulfill this commitment, but their hopes have been dashed.

To some extent, our country's government has developed a misguided notion that Balochistan is a burden on them. However, this perception is consistently incorrect. In reality, Balochistan possesses extraordinary economic potential for the entire country. But appears that they do not genuinely care about the people of Balochistan; instead, they prioritize exploiting the province's natural resources for their own benefit, while neglecting us.

In conclusion, both the federal government and the provincial authorities must take immediate measures to establish a fully functioning cancer hospital in Balochistan as soon as possible.