Around 5,000 girls aged 12 and 13 have been so far been administered the free human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine against cervical cancer in schools, the association of cancer patients and friends, Pasykaf said on Wednesday.
The group said that a good percentage, almost 60 per cent, of female high school pupils responded to the call of the health ministry for the free vaccine.
The outcome, Pasykaf said, was due to its constant efforts “and the good cooperation with health ministry officials and all stakeholders, who, with appropriate interventions at the right time took advantage of the political will to find the budget and start the programme”.
The next goal set is to increase the response rate to 80 per cent and to expand the programme to include male pupils as well. This was the first year the vaccine was administered to all aged between 12 and 13 in all schools, state and private. The HPV vaccine is not mandatory, and is administered in the same way as the rest of the vaccinations offered in schools for free by the state.
Pasykaf said that it continues its other campaigns and programmes against cervical cancer.