– Cervical shield for Class IX students
A STAFF REPORTER
Guwahati, June 24: The human papilloma virus that kills more than 74,000 women globally every year will find it difficult to touch Assam’s new generation, with Dispur deciding to administer anti-cervical cancer vaccines to Class IX girls from October.
Announcing Dispur’s decision here this afternoon, Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said chief minister Tarun Gogoi agreed in principle yesterday to launch the anti-cervical cancer vaccination and a proposal to that effect has been forwarded to the finance department.
Government estimates suggest the number of the targeted group would be around one lakh and the drive would cost the state exchequer approximately Rs 60 crore.
Though Sarma did not reveal the names of the vaccines except that it was a World Health Organisation-recommended quardivalen vaccine that works on other forms of cancer that affect the reproductive system.
Partha Gogoi, regional director, health and family welfare, said quardivalen vaccine was available in the market as Gardasil.
The vaccine is effective in women before they become sexually active, bringing the incidence of cervical cancer cases down by around 60 per cent, Sarma said.
“Everything remaining equal, we will be launching the drive in October as a pilot project in 10 districts, which are yet to be decided on. The need for the drive is important because at any point of time we have 62,000 cancer cases, of which the number of cervical cancer case is around 8 per cent. The vaccines are available in the market but are costly, so we decided to launch the drive and will cover both private and government schools,” he added.
FYI – look at the Merck contignecy in India….