Tamil Nadu

Call for a national-level plan to combat cervical cancer

Shalini Rajaram, president of AOGIN India at the AOGIN India 2015 Conference on the CMC campus in Vellore on Thursday.— Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy  

The Government of India should implement a National Cervical Cancer Control Programme on the lines of the national programmes for control of various other diseases in order to bring down the mortality rate in cervical cancer in the light of the poor awareness about the disease among women, according to Shalini Rajaram, president of AOGIN India (Asia Oceania research organisation on Genital Infections and Neoplasia India).

Delivering the AOGIN-India Presidential Oration at the AOGIN India 2015 Conference organised jointly by the Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Christian Medical College, Vellore and the Vellore Obstetrics & Gynaecologic Society at the CMC campus here on Thursday, Prof. Shalini said that the cervical cancer prevention programme has not yet taken off in India despite the country having the best doctors in the field.

Mortality remains

at 62,000 every year

While the maternal mortality has come down below 50,000 per year in the country, the cervical cancer mortality has remained at 62,000 deaths every year in India, she said.

The AOGIN India president said that when the Union Health Minister wanted to implement a cervical cancer vaccination programme, several public health activists opposed it.

“The prevention and vaccination programmes should be carried on simultaneously. Otherwise, India will miss the bus,” she said, adding, that the HPV (Human Papillomavirus) vaccination programme is part of the universal immunisation programme in Bangladesh which has taken several proactive measures in controlling the disease.

Even in the U.S., the incidence of cervical cancer has come down thanks to vaccination.

Pointing out that Tamil Nadu has organised a screening programme for cervical cancer, Prof. Shalini regretted that India does not have any policy on cervical cancer control.

The guidelines for cervical cancer control that were framed 10 years ago were not implemented at all. Cancer should be delinked from the common programme for control of non-communicable diseases (NCD) and should be provided special focus.

She called for a population-based cervical cancer screening programme in India, and wanted the services of ASHAs (Accelerated Social Health Activists) to be utilised in the prevention programme by asking them to motivate the women in the rural areas to go in for screening for cervical cancer and take preventive measures.

Neerja Bhatla, founder president of AOGIN India said that 50 per cent of cervical cancer cases in the developing countries occurred within the Asia-Pacific region.

Raju Titus Chacko, Associate Director, CMC, Alfred Job Daniel, Principal, CMC and C.E. Eapen, Medical Superintendent offered their felicitations.

Prof. Shalini regretted that India does not have any policy on cervical cancer control. The guidelines that were framed 10 years

ago were not implemented at all

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2022 3:24:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/call-for-a-nationallevel-plan-to-combat-cervical-cancer/article7589743.ece

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