The Department of Health has launched its school-based Human Papillomavirus or HPV Immunization in an inaugural vaccination at the Addition Hills Integrated School in Mandaluyong City.
In collaboration with the Department of Education and the Department of the Interior and Local Government, over 180 Grade 4 female students with consent from their parents were vaccinated with the quadrivalent HPV during the event.
“Shifting the HPV vaccination from a community-based to a school-based approach enables us to provide vaccination services to a ‘catch’ population. We will be able to reach high coverage and dropout rate will be minimized,” Health Secretary Dr. Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial said.
“School health settings will provide good opportunities to integrate vaccine delivery with other health interventions like health information and warnings against tobacco and drug use,” Ubial added.
“Making modern healthcare solutions more readily available for people has always been one of the foremost thrust of our local government, especially when it comes to preventing unnecessary suffering. Hence, we fully support the HPV vaccination program,” noted Mandaluyong Mayor Carmelita Abalos.
Mandaluyong Rep. Queenie Gonzales further underscored the significance of vaccination in upholding health and quality of life for the family.
“Women have always been at the heart of the Filipino family and society. They are our mothers, sisters, and daughters. We must ensure their protection against diseases such as cervical cancer. Bringing the vaccines in schools, where the target beneficiaries are gathered, helps in intensifying the effort,” Gonzales said.
Cervical cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. In the Philippines, more than 6,000 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed every year. HPV infection causes more than 99 percent of cervical cancer cases among women.
“HPV vaccination is part of the DOH’s National Immunization Program. Vaccination is a basic right of children and NO CHILD shall be deprived of this right,” Ubial said.
“Our children are one of the most important assets of this country; therefore, every effort should be made to promote their welfare and optimum development. They should be protected from vaccine-preventable diseases. And what better way to do this than through vaccination.”
Also gracing the occasion were Dr. Ponciano Menguito, DepEd Regional Director for NCR; and Dr. Ariel Valencia, Regional Director of DOH-NCR.
Prior to the launching, community preparation activities like orientations were conducted for the parents and guardians of Grade 4 female pupils from the 22 public schools in Mandaluyong City.
These activities focused on providing parents and guardian and other stakeholders with basic information on HPV, its related diseases and vaccine.
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