DCW bats for free HPV vaccines for women to prevent cervical cancer
The Delhi Commission for Women has sought a report from the Director General of Health Services on the accessibility of HPV vaccines among women to prevent cervical cancer and batted for providing the doses free of cost.
Cervical cancer is a leading cause of cancer-associated mortality among women in India. It is estimated that approximately 1.25 lakh new cases are diagnosed and over 75,000 deaths occur in the country every year, the panel said in a statement.
The cancer is preventable with the help of routine screening and administration of the vaccine for the human papilloma virus (HPV) infection, which is majorly responsible for the disease.
In India, the HPV vaccine costs between Rs 2,800 and Rs 3,299 per dose for Gardasil and Cervarix, respectively. Each vaccine requires a minimum of three doses. As a result, Rs 8,400 or Rs 9,897 is required for a girl or woman to be vaccinated against cervical cancer in India, the panel said, noting it is a huge amount for most people in the country.
Delhi Commission for Women Chairperson Swati Maliwal said, “The disease can be diagnosed through routine screening and administration of the vaccine for the human papilloma virus (HPV) infection, which is majorly responsible for this disease.”
“However, this vaccine is costly and needs to be provided to women and girls free of cost. The central government should look into the matter and make efforts for easy availability of HPV vaccine to women and girls at large,” she added.
The panel has sent a notice in this regard to the Director General of Health Services and sought a detailed report. The commission has also sought the details of awareness campaigns and schemes about cervical cancer and HPV vaccines being run by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, it said in the statement.