Vital to protect girls from cervical cancer: Official

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YOUNG girls must be protected from cervical cancer because it is preventable, says the president of the Lae Huon Gulf Rotary Gavin Whyte.
He was speaking during the launching of the cervical cancer vaccination partnership programme between the Lae Huon Gulf Rotary, Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture (WGJV) and the Morobe health division.
The Bill Gates Foundation has supported the Rotarians with human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines to carry out vaccination for girls between nine and 14.
The HPV vaccine protects women against cancer caused by human papillomavirus infection.
“When we protect young girls, by the time they reach the age of 30 or 40, they will have lesser chances of getting cervical cancer,” Whyte said.
“According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Papua New Guinea is rated number one in cervical cancer deaths.
“There are not many treatments for cervical cancer in PNG, therefore, prevention is important.”
Senior adviser social performance and external affairs with WGJV Sheila Harou said the partnership was important because the vaccine cost about K1000 for one.
“The WGJV will be supporting this programme through logistics, uniforms and clinic books,” she said.
“We will focus on the project impact areas, which is from Wagang to Timini and the project areas.
“We estimate to cover more than 1500 girls in those areas from nine to 14 years of age.
“We will later expand into the three districts – Lae, Huon Gulf and Bulolo.” The cervical cancer vaccination programme started yesterday at Wagang village.
It will continue today at Gasongkeg village, tomorrow at Timini and Zindaga villages, Saturday at Zifasing Village, Monday at Bavaga and Gingen villages, Tuesday at Hekeng and Nambonga villages, and Wednesday at Venembele and Papas/Ziriruk villages.
Programme adviser for health, Micah Yawing, said the programme was part of the Health department’s plan. He said it was not implemented last year because of the polio outbreak.