Vaccination Can Help Beat Cervical Cancer: Experts

Not only does a major chunk of the population know of the vaccine, they can also afford it. Yet, it has found few takers, revealed the survey conducted by ARTIST (Asian Research and Training Institute for Skill Transfer), a city based institute. “About five years ago when I asked patients if they have been immunized against HPV , the answer would invariably be no. In the last two or three years, of around 50 patients I see in a month, 2 or 3 answer in the affirmative. Cervical cancer is a silent killer that shows no symptoms till it is too late,“ said Dr Hema Divakar, senior gynaecologist and chairperson of ARTIST.

Lack of awareness, high cost and safety concerns are the reasons for low HPV vaccination in India. To fight cervical cancer, ARTIST is initiating Skill Gurukool, a weekend training programme to enhance the capacity of frontline health workers. The programme will provide hands on training to healthcare professionals, nurses, counsellors and clinical assistants on competency-based activities like emergency care. The training will be conducted at at Divakars Speciality Hospital, JP Nagar.

Estimates by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) show cervical cancer has overtaken breast cancer in deaths; it killed over 62,000 women in 2015, accounting for 24% of the total cancer-related deaths of women in India.

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