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Government approves HPV vaccine in union budget 2024: A step towards cervical cancer prevention

Cervical cancer is a devastating disease claiming countless lives across India. Cervical Cancer is the second most common cancer among women in India, with over 123,907 new cases and 77,348 deaths reported in 2020. Lack of awareness and screening barriers led to frequent late diagnoses and limited treatment options [1]. However, a beacon of hope emerged in the Union Budget 2024.

 

The Budget's Promise


India took a giant leap towards preventing cervical cancer in the Union Budget 2024 by endorsing HPV vaccination for girls aged 9-14 years. The vaccine is highly effective against HPV infections associated with cervical cancer and has the potential toreduce the current burden of over 77,000 deaths annually. Potential inclusion in the national immunization program can significantly improve accessibility and affordability [2]. This initiative increases the awareness of HPV vaccination and can lead to a drastic reduction in cervical cancer cases and deaths in the long run.

 

A crucial step, not the finish line


Though nascent, the government's initiative offers a powerful opportunity to rewrite the story of cervical cancer in India. By proactively investing in preventive measures like HPV vaccination, India can create a future where this disease no longer casts a shadow on countless lives. This is not just a glimmer of hope; it's a crucial step towards a healthier, brighter future for Indian women.

 

Cervical cancer develops in the cells lining the cervix, the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. The primary cause is the human papillomavirus (HPV), and preventive measures like vaccination and regular screening tests such as Pap smears and HPV tests are effective in reducing its incidence. Since early stages may be asymptomatic, regular screenings are crucial for timely detection. Early identification and prompt treatment greatly enhance outcomes and prognosis for individuals affected by cervical cancer.

 

References


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Collaborators

IIT Guwahati
University of Manchester
Rhenix Lifesciences
American university of Sharjah
IIT Delhi
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