Health department partners with stakeholders to fight cervical cancer

The Department of Health in partnership with the Department of Education and the Rotary Club of Boroko have launched the 2017 Cervical Cancer Vaccination NCD pilot project on Friday.

Health Secretary, Pascoe Kase and representatives from partners from the Department of Education and the Rotary Club witnessed the occasion.

Kase said cervical cancer, with an estimated 1, 500 deaths per year, is the most common cancer among women in PNG and is the only cancer that can be prevented through a vaccination.

“The cervical cancer vaccination, also called Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination can protect women from developing most types of cervical cancer when given to girls before any sexual activity begins,” Kase said.

He added that all girls aged 9 to 14 years attending grades 3 to 6 at all public and private schools in NCD will be offered two doses of the cervical cancer vaccination free of charge.

“The first dose will be in April and the second in October this year.”

He further added that it is important for girls to receive both doses of the vaccines for their protection.

Kase said more than 50 countries nationwide have already introduced the cervical cancer vaccination into their national vaccination programs, significantly reducing cervical cancer rate in those countries.

He also expressed his appreciation to stakeholders, NCD Health Services, the US Embassy, World Health Organization, UNICEF and the PNG Cancer Foundation for their active participation in launching the vaccination project.

Annette Kora