The Departments of Health and Education will be coordinating to implement the return of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination drives in schools for 9-year-old girls.

DOH Cancer Prevention and Control department head Dr Clarita Claro said the Health department is planning to start the HPV vaccination of 9-year old female kids to protect them against cervical cancer this August.

The programme will include both public and private schools, according to Balita.

In 2015, then DOH Secretary Janette Garin said the school-based HPV vaccination programmer was “scrapped” because of limited funds and objections from various sectors saying the vaccine might encourage promiscuity.

Instead, the HPV vaccination programme was passed on to local health units.

DOH has noted that there are 6,000 new cervical cancer cases diagnosed daily and 12 women die of the disease every day.

Cervical cancer is the second leading cause of death among Filipino women.

Almost 100 percent of cervical cancer cases are caused by HPV, according to DOH.

Most cervical cancer patients are in the age group of 35-55 years, with most of them usually breadwinners, and caretakers of children, according to DOH data. Less than half of these patients are alive 5 years after diagnosis.

“There is a saying here in our country that a woman can be a mother, a sister or a daughter. Indeed, women have a very important role to play in the society so much so that when cervical cancer strikes them, the entire community gets hurt,” said Secretary of Health Paulyn Ubial, commenting on DOH’s commitment to Cervical Cancer Consciousness Month.

Last May, the DOH laid out campaigns against cervical cancer including HPV vaccination, anfree cervical cancer screening at selected DOH hospitals.d 

“The tragedy of cervical cancer deaths is that this cancer is preventable and treatable. Our goal now in the Philippines is to institutionalize HPV vaccination and screening so that our precious women will no longer die of cervical cancer,” said Secretary Ubial. MIMS

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