Nurul Izzah calls for equitable access to HPV vaccines, screening to eliminate cervical cancer
SHAH ALAM - Former Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar has called for equitable access to HPV vaccines and screening to eliminate cervical cancer.
Speaking at the launch of the Global HPV Consortium in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, Nurul Izzah said that cervical cancer is a preventable cancer, but that many women in low- and middle-income countries do not have access to the vaccines and screening that could save their lives.
"Cervical cancer is a cancer that no woman, mother, sister or daughter should face.
"But the reality is that cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer among women worldwide, and it is the leading cause of cancer death among women in low- and middle-income countries," she added.
Nurul Izzah highlighted the success of Malaysia's HPV vaccination programme, which has seen the vaccination rate among 12- to 15-year-old girls reach 90 per cent.
She said that this success shows what can be achieved when governments and stakeholders work together to make HPV vaccines available to all girls.
She also called for the introduction of high-precision HPV DNA self-sampling for cervical screening in Malaysia.
This would make it easier for women to access cervical screening, and would help to ensure that more women are diagnosed with cervical cancer early, when it is more treatable.
Nurul Izzah urged responsible industries to work with governments to ensure that all women have access to HPV vaccines and screening.
She said that this is an investment that will pay off in the long run, both in terms of human lives saved and economic productivity.
"We need to work together to ensure that cervical cancer is eliminated in our lifetime.
"This is a goal that is within our reach, but it will require a concerted effort from all stakeholders," she said.
The Global HPV Consortium is a public-private movement to prevent HPV infection and eliminate cervical cancer.
It brings together stakeholders from around the world to share best practices and work towards the common goal of cervical cancer elimination.