Interview: Medical student Maida Ali founds a new group at Fatima Jinnah Medical College
New group founded in Pakistan: Maida Ali is a 23 year old medical student from Fatima Jinnah Medical College, Pakistan who cannot sit still. So she is always eager to join health awareness campaigns and medical advancements during her medical education.
Maida, what motivates you to found the project?
“Pakistanis burnt their Rs250 billion to ashes through smoking of over 64bn cigarettes in the financial year of 2014.
In Pakistan, tobacco and cigarette smoking is said to be responsible for 90 percent of lung cancer cases. Over 100,000 people, including women and children become victim to lung cancer annually while many more are left disfigured and with life-long illnesses including heart disease and hypertension.
According to World Health Organisation (WHO) tobacco use is currently responsible for the death of one in ten adults’ worldwide (about 5 million deaths each year)
Tobacco is consumed in many other ways e.g. pipe, hookah and shisha smoking, naswar (chewable tobacco), Gutka and Tobacco Paan (betel leaf) etc. This trend is increasing day by day especially in youngsters.
All these bitter facts overwrought my soul and motivated me to do something practically effective to prevent this toxic addiction. I was doing a project in my country on anti-Tobacco Awareness in advance. Then i found out about EAT and discovered it to be the most effective and scientific way to educate public against tobacco use, therefore I decided to found this project in Pakistan. You can join my team here: http://educationtobacco.org/pakistan”
What are your next steps in Pakistan?
“My next steps in Pakistan for this project are
1) To identify stakeholders i.e public, teenagers, medical students including government authorities
2) Engage them in spreading and implementing Education against Tobacco
3) Using Social and electronic media for large coverage of the message”
Which schools will you focus on?
“My focus will be all the schools providing high school education
I also expect to give attention to university students.”
How is the smoking prevalence in Pakistan?
Urban Rural Total
Males 34.4% 36.8% 36%
Females 8.4% 9.3% 9%
Interview: Titus Brinker