Cervical Cancer Vaccines for Bali Schoolgirls

A vaccination programme to protect teenage girls in Bali against cervical cancer has been launched at a Denpasar high school.

A total of 70 girls at the Tunas Daud school were vaccinated last Friday as the first stage of a project to eradicate cervical cancer from Bali by 2020.

The inoculations were carried out by members of the Denpasar Association of Obstetrics and Gynaecologists.

“The education and vaccinations are part of our bigger programme to achieve our goal of freeing Bali from cervical cancer by 2020,” said association head Made Suyasa Jaya.

The Denpasar Health Department helped to fund the programme, and the vaccines were provided free of charge by a pharmaceutical company.

Jaya said vaccinating girls against the human papillomavirus, which can lead to cervical cancer, was best done early, before they became sexually active.

“Vaccinations are more effective if they are given as early as possible before the patients have sexual contact that puts them at risk of contracting the disease. That’s why we started in schools,” he said.

Other schools will be targeted as the programme expands, although school administrations have the right to refuse to take part.

Development coordinator at Tunas Daud School, Vonny A. Susanta, said that the school had fully supported the programme.

“We should act as early as possible to prevent infection among our younger generations and to achieve our common goal to free Bali from cervical cancer by 2020,” she said.

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