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Noida cancer institute wants girl students vaccinated

Rajiv Mehrotra, director of NIPCR, said the decision was taken after the impressive performance of the state government of Sikkim in vaccinating girls against cervical cancer.

noida Updated: Aug 30, 2018 03:59 IST
Vaibhav Jha
Vaibhav Jha
Hindustan Times, Noida
Noida,Cancer,institute
According to statistics, provided by NIPCR, every year, 1,47,000 cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed across the country. (HT PHOTO)

The National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research (NICPR) in Sector 39, Noida, has written to the central government and various state governments to initiate a national level vaccination drive among school girls to make India cervical cancer-free.

Rajiv Mehrotra, director of NIPCR, said the decision was taken after the impressive performance of the state government of Sikkim in vaccinating girls against cervical cancer.

“As per the statistics provided by the state government of Sikkim, 24,800 girls (aged between 9 and 14 years) who comprise 97.8% of the women population of the state, have been given the vaccination. Moreover, Punjab and Delhi, too, had held vaccination drives on November 7, 2016, in government schools,” Mehrotra said.

Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in females after breast cancer. According to statistics, provided by NIPCR, every year, 1,47,000 cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed across the country of which 70,000 cases are fatal.

Experts believe that the performance of India on cervical cancer indices has been dismal over the years due to a lack of easy availability of the vaccination.

“The market cost of the vaccine is Rs 2,000 and the central government sells it to the state governments at the cost of Rs 300 per pack. Until now, we are exporting the medicine from other countries but, soon, we will manufacture it in India and this will drastically reduce the cost. We are hopeful that in the next five or 10 years, we will be able to carry out a programme on the lines of the Pulse Polio campaign,” Mehrotra said.

Enthused by the success in Sikkim, NICPR has sent a proposal to the central government to initiate a nationwide campaign for vaccination against cervical cancer. “We want girls in the age group of nine to 14 years vaccinated across the country,” Mehrotra said.

Experts also said the focus of NIPCR is to ensure that maximum number of young women examine themselves for cervical cancer so that it can be treated at an early stage.

“At NIPCR, we have examined a total of 5,428 women for cervical cancer and we found 90 abnormal cases. Among the abnormal ones, five were diagnosed with cervical cancer while 85 had a lesion which showed early signs of the cancer,” Dr Sanjay Gupta, course director, department of cytopathology, NIPCR, said.

The NIPCR is organising a three-day workshop of 40 pathologists from various government and private medical institutions across the country at its centre from August 29-31.

“We have pathologists coming from Punjab, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Haryana and Gujarat for the three-day conference. we will train them in the latest equipment to detect early stages of cervical cancer. The pathologists will return to their institutions and train the others. We will also discuss rare and interesting cases of cancer,” Gupta. said.

First Published: Aug 30, 2018 03:59 IST