Government and society unite in the fight against cervical cancer — Portal Política Distrital

Cristina Indio from Brazil

The National Cancer Institute (Inca), the Ministry of Health, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and 17 non-governmental organizations and Brazilian scientific societies have signed a letter of commitment to strengthen actions to eliminate cervical cancer and expand vaccination coverage against the papillomavirus. (HPV).

Among the commitments made in the document is to support the Ministry of Health, the National Council of Health Secretaries (Conass) and the National Council of Municipal Health Secretaries (Conasems) in implementing actions that strengthen the National Program on Immunization (PNI). and National Cervical Cancer Elimination Strategy; disseminating information about the effectiveness and safety of the HPV vaccine using a variety of channels and formats; developing ongoing strategies to combat vaccination fake news and specific doubts, reduce vaccination hesitancy, and offer continuous education and training to SUS managers and professionals on the importance of increasing vaccination coverage.

In addition, by signing the letter, each commits to promote territorial strategies to ensure flexible and clear services for adolescents and vulnerable populations related to HPV; strengthening screening and qualification of care for cervical cancer, ensuring diagnosis and treatment of precancerous lesions; implementing specific actions to prevent and control cervical cancer among traditional populations and communities, migrants, refugees and other highly vulnerable groups.

The signing took place yesterday (7), during the meeting “Vaccination and Cancer Prevention: Different Views, Many Challenges”, at the INCA headquarters, in downtown Rio de Janeiro, which discussed the challenges and proposals to increase access to preventive actions organized by screening, diagnosis and treatment of cervical cancer, which is the most common type associated with HPV.

The CEO of Inca, Roberto Gil, said that all participants in the seminar are committed to the eradication of cervical cancer and that the letter symbolizes precisely the intentions and gestures that will be made in this direction. “It is the responsibility of all those who understand that a preventable disease cannot continue to kill so many people in Brazil.”

Specialists believe that HPV vaccination is one of the most effective and cost-effective disease prevention strategies. It is clear that in addition to preventing cervical cancer, the vaccine reduces the likelihood of developing penile, vulva, vaginal, oropharyngeal, and anal and anus cancers in humans.

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The vaccine, which is considered safe and of good quality, is provided free of charge by the Unified Health System of Brazil (SUS) to girls and boys between the ages of 9 and 14, with the administration of two doses, including the use of a vaccination strategy in schools.

Women and men aged 15 to 45 who have certain diseases can also be vaccinated. “People living with HIV, solid organ or bone marrow recipients, cancer patients, immunosuppressed due to medical conditions and/or receiving immunosuppressive medication, and victims of sexual assault,” PAHO says on its website.

At a meeting this Thursday (7), the director of the Department of Immunization and Vaccine-Preventable Diseases of the Ministry of Health (DPNI/MS), Eder Gati, said that the ministry has developed a strategy for vaccination micro-planning and has sent teams to all regions of the country to determine the models most suitable for each location, which proved to be effective.

“Brazil has a gigantic territorial expansion. Each region has its own difficulties. Each state, each municipality is a reality, and we must work with all of these actors to achieve the goal of vaccination coverage. We will be able to do this only by uniting and working in relations with all subjects of the federation of our country,” he commented.

The program of the event ended at night with the lighting ceremony of Christ the Redeemer, one of the main postcards of Rio de Janeiro, which was lit up in purple to warn the public about the types of cancer caused by the papilloma virus and to encourage vaccination against HPV. The ceremony was organized by the public organization Instituto Lado a Lado pela Vida


According to PAHO, WHO’s global strategy to accelerate the elimination of cervical cancer was launched in 2020 and is based on vaccination, screening and treatment, which are the three main pillars.

At the time, 194 countries, including Brazil, committed to achieving by 2030 goals such as having 90% of girls fully vaccinated against HPV by the age of 15, screening 70% of women with a high-performance test in 35 years and repeated at age 45, in addition to treating 90% of women with precancerous lesions of cervical cancer and achieving treatment and follow-up for 90% of women with invasive cancer.

In Brazil, the Ministry of Health launched the National Strategy for the Elimination of Cervical Cancer in March of this year to expand the “The Uterus is Life” program, which is a partnership between the State Department of Health of Pernambuco and PAHO.

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