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January is Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Cervical Cancer Prevention Month

HPV related to both males and females over 9 years of age

 ‘Vaccines should be administered to prevent cancer’


Ahmedabad, Jan 19: With reference to Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Cervical Cancer month in January 2024, the Serum Institute of India, recognized as the world’s largest vaccine maker, is taking initiatives to dispel the misconceptions around HPV and create more awareness. SII launched the ‘IPledgeToPrevent’ initiative, designed to promote awareness and prevention of HPV. In 2022, India approved its first indigenously developed HPV vaccine by Serum Institute of India – CERVAVACThe Health Ministry is also planning to include the HPV vaccine as part of their Universal Immunisation Program.  

Cervical Cancer Awareness Month falls during a period when the globe is still getting over the COVID-19 pandemic and significant interruptions to vital health services are still present. It is of utmost importance to build healthier communities by expanding access to HPV vaccination, screening, pre-cancer treatment and cervical cancer management. For government bodies such as WHO, Cervical Cancer is the first noncommunicable disease to be targeted for eradication on priority, with a wide range of highly effective screening methods and vaccinations available. In many countries, such initiatives against HPV have significantly reduced the number of cervical cancer deaths. The WHO has established targets for vaccination, screening, and treatment that nations should strive to meet by 2030 in order to eradicate cervical cancer.

An indigenous affordable HPV vaccine can address India’s cervical cancer burden if other barriers surrounding vaccination are addressed at the same time. With government’s effort to include HPV vaccination in the national immunization program will help people realize its significance. In a promising advance in its fight against cervical cancer, India launched its first Indigenous quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine – Cervavac – a joint initiative between the Indian Government and the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer. Protecting against the virus strains most likely to cause cancer of the cervix, vagina, and vulva, the HPV vaccine will help India, and other nations, to make strides towards this goal.

Both females and males above 9 years should be vaccinated for the prevention of HPV associated cancers. Male partners can also carry HPV and transmit it to their female partner which may later develop into cancer. 

Dr. Darshna Thakker is a practising Gynaecologist in Ahmedabad for past 27 years.  She is an ‘Internationally Licensed “Heal Your Life” Teacher and Workshop Leader and believes in a holistic approach to cancer care.

As a Compassionate Healer for Cancer Patients my passion is Women Health Care and Education. As a healthcare provider I try to explain and drive home the point to the young girls I meet at schools, colleges and rural areas to take prevention and precautionary steps. HPV vaccination is an important step in this direction which can later save their life from the serious diseases that they can end up with.

Dr Darshna Thakker through her NGO NAARI along with Dr Riddhi Shukla undertake several women awareness, educational and preventive programmes, catering to innovatively designed mother-daughter duo focus as a social campaign. They are also supported by Sparsh Foundation. In last 18 years, Dr Thakker says our focus is on mother-daughter duo as a social campaign. We could screen nearly 6,000 women for breast and cervix. As prevention we examine breast, uterus, ovary and cervix of women. We have an onco-physician and therapist in our team and we undertake surgeries too. We promote and advocate healthy sexual behavior amongst youngsters so that they don’t indulge into unsafe sex practices. We talk about HPV vaccination to the young women for themselves and teenaged and younger girls.


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