Mauritius: Mauritius introduces HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer

Port-Louis, Mauritius (PANA) - Mauritius on Friday launched a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination to prevent cervical cancer among girls as part of the Expanded Programme of Immunisation in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations.

A source at the Health and Quality of Life Ministry said the vaccine, which guards girls against the four strands of HPV most associated with cervical cancer, is available for Standard 5 schoolgirls (aged between 9 to 13) and will be administered in two doses with at least six months interval between doses.

Some 9,000 school girls in Mauritius and 500 in Rodrigues will benefit from free vaccination against HPV.

Health and Quality of Life Minister Anil Gayan recalled that cancer had emerged as a major public health problem and had become the third major health threat after diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

"Our action is to focus on prevention since at least one-third of all cancer cases are preventable," he said.

He outlined the Government’s investment in the health and quality of life of the population and highlighted the role and responsibilities of parents in offering the best protection to their children.

For her part, Education and Human Resources Minister Mrs Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, said prevention offered the most cost-effective long-term strategy for the control of cervical cancer. 

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) HPV causes cervical cancer, which is the fourth most common cancer in women, with an estimated 266,000 deaths and 528,000 new cases in 2012.

HPV can also cause other types of anogenital cancer, head and neck cancers, and genital warts in both men and women. HPV infections are transmitted through sexual contact. The primary target group in most of the countries recommending HPV vaccination is young adolescent girls, aged 9-13.
-0- PANA NA/MA 19Aug2016

19 août 2016 06:37:45

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