Public Health Ministry hosts PTA discussion to promote HPV vaccines
DPI, GUYANA, Friday, October 13, 2017
A special Mae’s Primary School Parent Teachers’ Association (PTA) meeting, on Thursday, engaged parents and Ministry of Health officials in discussions about Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).
Director, Caribbean Surgery Incorporated Dr. Surendra Persaud told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that this is the fourth phase in a multi-stage discussion at the school on the prevention of cervical cancer.
“We all know that 20 plus women of 100,000 women in Guyana die from cervical cancer which today is considered a preventable disease. The Ministry of Public Health’s plan is to immunize 36,000 girls since that is the doses we (Ministry of Public Health) have between ages 9 to 13,” the director noted.
One of the parents, Tammy (only name given) described the discussion as an excellent means of disseminating necessary information. “I have heard a lot programmes on the radio about it and I know people have a lot questions and concerns about the age… from as young as 9 (years old) and the fact that they have to explain to children why they are getting the vaccine,” she explained.
Dr. Persaud was delighted with the responses and opined that it was proof that more persons are willing to be educated on the vaccine.
It was reported that during 2003 to 2012, Guyana recorded 6,518 new cases of cancers for an overall cumulative incidence rate of 867.7 per 100,000 populations. 3,956 or 60% were females and the remainder males, giving a female to male ratio of 1.54:1.
HPV is a viral infection that is conveyed through skin-to-skin contact. There are more than 100 varieties, forty of which are transmitted through sexual contact, which largely affects the genitals, mouth, or throat areas.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection that affects both men and women. This leads to most sexually active persons contracting some form of the virus despite having few sexual partners.
Cancers caused by HPV go largely undetected because the virus often does not show symptoms until the cancer is in the latter stages of growth. Regular screenings can help diagnose HPV-related health problems early, which can improve the outlook and increase chances of survival.
The Public Health Ministry is currently promoting the HPV vaccine’s importance countrywide, in hopes that citizens support the fight against cervical cancer and other diseases.
By: Neola Damon