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PIA Press Release
Saturday, January 07, 2012


Sarangani capitol women employees receive HPV vaccine dose

by CT Apelacio

ALABEL, Sarangani, Jan 7 (PIA) -- Every woman is a potential risk of getting cervical cancer.

Thus, 510 provincial capitol women employees here have received a vaccine on Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) to protect them from contracting the dreadful disease.

The total number of clients, said Jermine Allan Parreño, population project officer of the Provincial Health Office (PHO), also included members of Sarangani Provincial Gender and Development Council (PGADC) and all members of the technical working group.

PGADC sponsored the massive provincial capitol vaccination as part of the GAD program year-end activity for 2011. The female employees received their first dose on December 5 last year. The second dose started Thursday and ended Friday (Jan 6). The third dose will be given on July 6.

According to Glaxo Smith Kline, in the Philippines, cervical cancer is the second leading killer cancer for women. Worldwide, a woman dies of cervical cancer every 2 minutes.

“That’s why women need the vaccine for the prevention of cervical cancer. A study pointed out that eight of 10 women get HPV, which is the main cause of cervical cancer,” Parreño stressed adding 12 of Filipino women die everyday from the disease.

He described the virus as common that can be acquired from a public toilet or elsewhere “so you see the infection is not necessarily sexual.”

According to Glaxo, HPV can easily be transmitted and may be acquired through a skin-to-skin genital contact even stressing that “condom usage” alone cannot give maximum protection from being exposed to HPV.

Meanwhile, Josefina Velasco, PGAD focal person said the undertaking was very relevant as GAD program is all about protection and upholding the rights of women.

One way to contribute to that upholding of women’s rights is to ensure that our active working women here in the provincial capitol are protected from cervical cancer.

“Pwede naman i-prevent kaya gawin na natin hanggang maaga sa pamamagitan ng programang ito at pagbibigay ng bakuna,” Velasco told PIA General Santos City.

HPV has at least 30 types, 15 of which are cancer-causing, however, it is HPV types 16 and 18 that “account for more than 70 percent of cervical cancer cases” worldwide.

When asked of the importance of the vaccine, Parreño said HPV vaccine targets the two most common cancer-causing types (16 and 18) that infect Filipino women every minute.

Since, it is common HPV infection can happen at any given time and age, he said.

Sexually active women are the most vulnerable sector as the risk may be present all their lifetime. The risk even gets higher as women get older. So women 26 years and older have a lot to gain from the vaccination, he added.

Parreño also said women can still avail of the vaccine even if they have already acquired HPV but the vaccine can not offer any curative benefit and will not change an existing cervical condition. (CTA/PIA General Santos City)

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