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Fiji Time: 8:36 AM on Friday 25 April

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Last cancer vaccine

Nasik Swami
Monday, January 14, 2013

CERVICAL cancer vaccines will be introduced to females Class Eight students at all schools in Fiji this year.

The vaccines will be distributed over the next six months.

The introduction of the HPV vaccine to girls in Class Eight is the last of three new vaccines approved for introduction by Cabinet in May 2011.

Cervical cancer usually develops very slowly and starts as a precancerous condition called dysplasia.

This precancerous condition can be detected by a pap smear and is 100 per cent treatable.

It can take years for precancerous changes to turn into cervical cancer.

Education permanent secretary Dr Brij Lal said it was important that all girls in Class Eight received the required doses that would be administered by the Health Ministry.

"The findings that cervical cancer is the highest cause of any cancer deaths in the country is really worrying and that is why parents, stakeholders and teachers should pull their hands together in seeing that this initiative is carried out successfully," Dr Lal said.

The Education Ministry will assist health officials in making sure the exercise was carried out smoothly at all schools.

"Schools should expect visits from the school health team early in term one for awareness purposes and also for the distribution of brochures on HPV vaccine and cervical cancer."

Dr Lal also urged teachers to help in the implementation and promotion of this exercise that would benefit the children.