INCTR Members’ Corner : Noreen Zafar, M.D., F.R.C.O.G. – Lahore, Pakistan

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The prominent healthcare specialist from Pakistan and INCTR associate member Dr. Noreen Zafar recently received the 2009 John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award in the international category. The John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Awards are presented each year to highly respected leaders in healthcare quality by by National Quality Forum (NQF) and The Joint Commission, two not-for-profit organizations based in the United States.

This award acknowledges Dr. Zafar’s outstanding efforts to promote wellness among girls and women - without government or any other support - in order to offer high quality gynecological care and empower women to become good decision makers regarding their own health and their family’s health. As the founder and president of the Girls and Women Health Initiative NGO (GWHI), she has overcome many social taboos in her quest and has established health awareness programs related to pre-cancer screening, teenage gynecological health, and reproductive health. Dr Zafar has initiated nearly a dozen campaigns in Pakistani communities under the umbrella of The Girls and Women’s Health Initiative such as “ Say No to Osteoporosis”, “Beat Menopause”, “Prioritize Pink”, “ Folic Acid Campaign”, “Women Matter” and “The Pakistan Group for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology “ to improve girls and women’s health.

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Dr Noreen Zafar receiving her award at the National Quality Forum’s Annual Policy Conference in Maryland, October, 2009.

Dr Noreen Zafar said that the conferment of the award in recognition and appreciation of her services and contributions towards girls and women’s healthcare has given her immense encouragement adding “Now I’m more determined and committed to work for the betterment and improvement of the women’s health care in general and of the young girls in particular”.

“The Eisenberg Award shines a spotlight on the frontline work that is occurring worldwide to improve health care quality by making a difference in patient safety,” says Mark R. Chassin, M.D., M.P.P., M.P.H., president, The Joint Commission. “These innovations and public commitments to safe, reliable care serve as an example for what can be achieved.”
“This year’s winners represent the best of what is possible in improving the safety and quality of health care,” says Janet Corrigan, Ph.D., M.B.A., president and CEO, National Quality Forum. “They are at the forefront of their fields and have taken risks to improve health care by addressing the way care is delivered. They have carried on John Eisenberg’s commitment to safety and quality and have truly improved health care.”

GWHI against the female cancers in Pakistan


The incidence of cervical cancer is on the rise in Pakistan. This is a great tragedy as it is one of the unique malignancies for which a definite pre cancerous phase is known, early diagnosis is possible and complete treatment is available. So there should be no more cervical cancer -We are hoping to start a single lifetime screen based program for Cervical CANCER Prevention in Pakistan. The planning skeleton is ready and we just need help through funding and resources to start implementation of the program


Breast cancer prevention and awareness program is designed to educate the women about the risk factors and how lifestyle changes can reduce one’s personal risk

In Pakistan 1 in 9 women are at risk of developing breast cancer and most of them present at a late stage although early diagnosis means better outcomes after treatment. Early detection means that the disease is curable in most cases. Unfortunately most of our patients present late

Our program reaches out to women of all strata especially those population groups who would not be able to seek help and advice. We tell them about the role of lifestyle factors in reducing their risk of breast cancer, teach them breast self-examination. Clinical breast examination is carried out by expert doctors .We are hoping to start a mobile mammography service soon

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