93% of secondary school girls done with HPV vaccinations
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
ABOUT 93 per cent of female secondary school students in the sultanate have completed the three-dose vaccination for the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) as of last year, said a senior health official at the Ministry of Health (MoH).
Senior medical officer from the Community Health Services department, Dr Siti Rosemawati Hj Mohd Yussof, said this on the sidelines of a cervical cancer awareness campaign for Kampong Lambak Kanan residents last week.
HPV vaccines are injections that can help protect against the virus that causes genital warts which can further lead to cancer.
Dr Siti said, as a preventive step against cervical cancer, the health ministry introduced the HPV vaccination programme in 2012. It aims to get female students in all secondary schools nationwide vaccinated.
The vaccinations are given on voluntary basis and written parental consent is required, said the health official.
“We involve all secondary schools throughout Brunei, both government and private schools,” she said.
Dr Siti said the HPV vaccine is given via three injections in the upper arm. The vaccine works best if you have it over a six-month period.
“Alhamdulillah the response is quite good. Last year the coverage for the three doses was around 92 to 93 per cent, so that’s quite high,” said the health official, noting that Brunei’s HPV vaccination three-dose coverage rates are higher than that of the United Kingdom and Australia.
This is an increase by five per cent, compared to when the HPV vaccination programme was launched four years ago, where only 88 per cent of secondary students completed their three-dose series of vaccinations.
The health official said MoH plans to increase the vaccination rate for HPV by holding more awareness campaigns.
She added that a majority of parents in Brunei support HPV vaccination for their children.
According to the health ministry cervical cancer is the third most common cancer among Bruneians.
The Brunei Times