DCW chief seeks free vaccines to check cervical cancer
The country is witnessing over 75,000 cases of cervical cancer each year, Delhi Commission for Women Chairperson Swati Maliwal said.
NEW DELHI: The Delhi Commission for Women Chairperson Swati Maliwal has issued a notice to the Director General of Health Services (DGHS) seeking the introduction of free-of-cost HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) vaccines in preventing cervical cancer among women.
“The Central government should look into the matter and make efforts for easy availability of HPV vaccine to women and girls at large. HPV vaccination is of public health importance and should be a priority for our country,” said DCW chief Maliwal.
The Commission has also sought the details of awareness campaigns and schemes for cervical cancer and HPV vaccines being run by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Further, the DGHS has been asked to provide details of efforts made by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to prevent the occurrence of cervical cancer in India.
Maliwal further added that the country is witnessing over 75,000 cases of cervical cancer each year. She added that 21% of total deaths reported around the world are from India, which is an alarming statistic.
Cervical cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related mortality amongst women in India. It is estimated that every year, approximately 1.25 lakh new cases are diagnosed and over 75000 deaths occur in the country.
According to World Health Organisation (WHO), low and middle-income countries are the ones that suffer the most from cervical cancer due to the limited accessibility of public health, sanitation and lack of screening and treatment facilities at a wider scale.
India has one of the highest mortality rates due to cervical cancer. Around 1.25 lakh new cases and 75000 deaths are reported every year. “The vaccine is costly and needs to be provided to women and girls free of cost,” Maliwal insisted.
Though the disease is preventable with the help of routine screening and administration of the vaccine, the cost of HPV vaccine in India is Rs 2800 and Rs 3299 per dose of Gardasil and Cervarix respectively, the two preventive vaccines widely circulated in the country.
With each vaccine requiring a minimum of three doses to be administered, the total cost for a woman to be vaccinated in India against the condition adds up to `8400 or `9897, which is more than what most people in the country can afford.
The commission has sought details of awareness campaigns and schemes about cervical cancer and HPV vaccines being run by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. aid in the statement.
The DGHS has been asked to provide details of efforts and awareness schemes undertaken by the ministry to prevent cervical cancer in India.