Vaccination drive against HPV

Chitwan, December 20

A vaccination campaign is all set to begin in Chitwan and Kaski to prevent Human Papillomavirus infections that cause most uterine cancer among females.

The campaign is the first of its kind in the country.

According to government data, HPV was seen among 70 per cent of the total female cancer patients across the country. The virus infects the opening of the uterus.

As per the sources at the District Public Health Office, Chitwan, around 8,000 girls will be vaccinated during the campaign in the district. The vaccine is said to be effective if administered to girls before puberty.

“The vaccines will be administered to 10-year-old girls from December 31 to January 6,” said Bharat Bhandari, vaccination officer at Child Health Department.

Around 30,000 vials of vaccines received from Gavi will be administered to 14,500 girls in Kaski and Chitwan, twice a year. Day-long vaccination centres will be set up at schools and health facilities. According to Bhandari, HPV is mostly seen among women between the ages of 35 and 64 years.

In Nepal, an estimated 10,020 women suffer, HPV while 50 per cent of them succumb to the virus. HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that can cause cancer. Timely treatment, however, can prevent the disease.

According to Mudhusudan Koirala, chief of the Public Health Office, Chitwan, the government will expand the vaccination campaign to all 75 district.