HPV (human papilloma virus) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in both men and women which causes cervical cancer. According to the World Health Organization, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer afflicting women worldwide with about 500,000 new cases and 250,000 deaths each year. In the Philippines, an estimated 12 Filipino women die due to cervical cancer each day.
Because of that, the DOH and MSD, along with medical societies Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society (POGS), Society of Gynecologic Oncologists of the Philippines (SGOP) and Philippine Society of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (PSCPC), continued their partnership to give FREE cervical cancer screening to women aged 30-40 years old in 58 DOH-retained hospitals nationwide. The free cervical screening will be available for the whole month of May.
The Cervical Cancer Awareness Month campaign is now on it’s 6th year with this years theme as “Babae, Mahalaga Ka!”
“The good news is that early this year, PhilHealth included the treatment for cervical cancer in the Z Benefit Package program. The benefit package includes cervical cancer chemoradiation with cobalt or primary surgery worth Php120,000 or cervical cancer chemoradiation with linear accelerator for Php175,000 depending on what is needed by the patient,” imparts DOH Secretary Enrique Ona.
Apart from free screenings nationwide, MSD in partnership with DOH will be providing free quadrivalent HPV vaccinations to 9,000 girls aged 13 years old this coming school year. “Our mission is not only to discover and develop medicines and vaccines for unmet medical needs but we would also like to make these accessible to people who can benefit from them. This initiative would help demonstrate how to implement a school-based vaccination program which can serve as a model for a national program,” shares Sanjiv Navangul, President and Managing Director of MSD in the Philippines.
Aside from cervical cancer, the quadrivalent HPV vaccine can also prevent vulvar and vaginal cancer, as well as genital warts. It is important to note that HPV is implicated in various diseases aside from cervical cancer such as cancers of the vulva, vagina, anus, penis, head and neck, and genital warts. It is the most common sexually transmitted infection in both men and women. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have stated that HPV is so common that nearly all sexually-active men and women get it at some point in their lives.
You may contact the Department of Health on the list of the nearest DOH-retained hospitals near you. Or you can read last yea’rs Free Cervical Cancer Screening post for the details on what they will do at the screenings, a link of the list of DOH retained hospitals is there. Here is a MAP of DOH Retained hospital from the health department’s database.
Do avail of this free cervical cancer screening as it can save your life. You can bring your moms for screening or go with your mom together and have a screening. This will lessen your fears if you have one.
Stay gorgeous everyone.