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Dhaka Tribune

Govt launches nationwide HPV vaccination campaign

  • 11 girls vaccinated on Monday
  • Govt aims to vaccinate 95% girls
  • Cervical cancer claims 5,000 to 6,000 lives annually
Update : 02 Oct 2023, 05:16 PM

Bangladesh has launched a nationwide HPV vaccination program to prevent cancer, targeting over 10 million children. The government aims to vaccinate 95% of all girls in the country.

Eleven girls aged between 10-15 years were administered the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine on Monday in order to prevent cervical cancer.

Among the vaccinated students, seven are from Azimpur Government Girls School and College, one from Viqarunnisa Noon School and College, two from DPS STS School and one from Narayanganj Govt Girls High School.

Health Minister Zahid Maleque inaugurated the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination program at the National Institute of Preventive and Social Medicine (NIPSOM) in Dhaka. The name of the vaccine is Cervarix.

The minister said: "From today (Monday), girls students in educational institutions across every district and upazila of Dhaka division will receive vaccinations on a limited scale. From October 15, it will be available to all eligible individuals."

He also said: "In Bangladesh, we administer 12-13 vaccines through the EPI, and our nation has become a vaccine hero due to these efforts. Starting the cervical cancer vaccination is a significant milestone. The HPV vaccine is highly effective. Cervical cancer claims 5,000 to 6,000 lives annually in our country and 300,000 worldwide.”

“With this vaccine, we can achieve 95% protection, saving lives and empowering women. However, we must continue our efforts," he added.

Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) Program Manager S M Abdullah Al Murad presented a paper on the  Cervarix vaccine.

He said: "In the past three years, we have lost 15,000 mothers and sisters to cervical cancer. We have not been able to address this issue effectively until now. Today marks a joyous occasion because, after a long wait, we finally have a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer.”

“We aim to ensure that 90% of girls aged 10 to 14 receive the Cervarix vaccine, with a goal of reaching 95%. We will carry out this vaccination program in three phases across the country,” he added.

He further said: “It's a one-dose vaccine administered into the muscles. The availability of this vaccine is limited, so we will announce the vaccination schedule in phases as per its availability."

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