The Trinidad and Tobago Medical Association (TTMA) yesterday congratulated Minister of Health Dr Fuad Khan on his initiative to use the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine as a prevention measure to avoid cervical cancer and some sexually transmitted diseases.
Dr Frank Ramlackhansingh, public relations officer, stated: "This is something which is very necessary in our society. Also, we would like to extend our gratitude for his commitment to the Oncology Centre at Mt Hope Medical Complex in the not too distant future."
Khan announced last week Government would provide free vaccine which prevents the infection "closely linked" with cervical, oral and anal cancers in men, and women, including young girls.
The HPV vaccine is to be made available to young ("prepubescent") girls from November, he said.
HPV, the most commonly sexually transmitted infection, is passed on through genital contact—during vaginal, anal or oral sex.
Apart from cervical, oral and anal cancers, the virus can cause genital warts.
Khan said the vaccine, like all other vaccines, could ward off the offending parts of the organism and prevent it from causing damage.
He said working through the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), Government will obtain the vaccine at a cost of US $14.16 per vial. Some $6 million is budgeted for this expenditure in 2012.