SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2016

GAVI CEO discusses benefits of vaccines for women

Cervical cancer is preventable by administering the human papillomavirus vaccine and women around the world should have access to this life-saving intervention, Seth Berkley, the CEO of the GAVI Alliance recently said.

Berkley made the statement at Women Deliver 2013, a global conference held last week in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Berkley explained why vaccinating young girls today will help them to grow into fulfilled and healthy women in the future.

"By the time I finish this presentation another five women will have died of cervical cancer," Berkley said. "Over a quarter of a million women die from cervical cancer every year - most of them live in developing countries. Cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in many countries, including those we support."

Berkley said that while HPV vaccines have been available for 2006, the countries with national HPV vaccination campaigns are typically wealthy nations. He said introducing the vaccine is a key opportunity to connect girls with health workers.

"Vaccinating adolescent girls against HPV, is a terrific opportunity to leverage the wide reach of immunization to deliver more health to girls," Berkley said. "The HPV demo projects are integrating other interventions - like HIV AIDS information, (autosomal recessive hypercholesterolaemia), nutrition, gender-based violence."

The GAVI Alliance plans to contribute to the immunization of more than 30 million girls against HPV by 2020 in more than 40 countries.