Davao City—The City Health Office is set to provide free Human Papillomavirus vaccines for women from June 1 to 5 to bolster its campaign against cervical cancer.
The month of May has been designated as Cervical Cancer Awareness Month in the Philippines. The campaign is backed by Proclamation No. 368, which was signed by then-President Gloria Arroyo in 2003.
“We have 10,000 vaccines available,” CHO Head Dr. Josephine Villafuerte said.
Among those qualified to get the HPV vaccine are girls aged nine to 13 and women up to 45 years old.
Data from the World Health Organization shows that cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women. It is the second leading cause of death among women in the Philippines, next only to breast cancer.
DoH data shows that 12 Filipino women die from cervical cancer every day, even if it is a preventable disease through screening and vaccination.
The WHO reported that 99 percent of cervical cancer cases, which is the most common reproductive-tract viral infection, are linked to genital infection with HPV.
HPV infections are transmitted through sexual contact and through skin-to-skin contact.
Women can protect themselves from cervical cancer through sexual abstinence, monogamy, regular screening, and vaccination.
Persistent genital HPV infections can cause cervical cancer in women.
The HPV vaccine can cost up to P4,500 per injection from private clinics. However, Villafuerte said the CHO will be giving the HPV vaccines for free.
Villafuerte said the HPV vaccines came from the Department of Health so there was no need for the city to allocate a budget for it.