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Posted at: Nov 24, 2016, 1:40 AM; last updated: Nov 24, 2016, 1:40 AM (IST)

Principal Secretary inaugurates 2-day vaccination programme against cancer

Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, Health Minister give it a miss
Principal Secretary inaugurates 2-day vaccination programme against cancer
Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Vini Mahajan, during the inauguration of the HPV vaccination programme in Bathinda on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Pawan sharma

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 23

A two-day HPV vaccination programme to counter cervical cancer was inaugurated today by Principal Secretary, Health, Vini Mahajan, along with JS Bali Director, Health, and other officials.

The two day HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccination programme began at Mother and Children Hospital, Bathinda, however chief guests Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and Health Minister Surjit Kumar Jyani gave it a miss despite huge fanfare and flex boards carrying their pictures displayed at the gate of the Civil Hospital.

Cervical cancer leads to death of a woman in every eight minutes in the country.

However, the vaccination that will be given in two doses is not complete assurance against prevention of the disease but it can reduce 70 per cent chances of this cancer, said Vanita Suri, head of the department of gynaecology, PGIMER, Chandigarh.

She said the vaccination programme had been conducted first in Bathinda and Mansa as these districts had high incidence of this cancer.

Around 10,000 girl students will be vaccinated in Bathinda and Mansa districts in two days.

Students were ferried in buses from various government schools on government expenses and were given refreshment after vaccination.

Doctors, ANMs and para-medical staff carried out the programme. The vaccination was carried out at the Civil Hospital, Bathinda, sub-divisional hospitals and community health centres.

Under this project, around 2.2 lakh Class six girl students of all government schools across the state will be vaccinated in the current academic year against cervical cancer.

Dr Gurinder Bir Singh, assistant director, Health and Family Welfare, Punjab, said, “Earlier, we planned to cover private school girls too but primarily, we will cover all girl students of government schools. The vaccination is available for around 10,000 students and we will learn a lot of things from the first launch of the vaccination. Punjab is the first state to launch this programme to vaccinate girl students. Unawareness and illiteracy is the main cause of this cancer. If genitals are cleaned regularly, chances of this cancer decrease.”


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