Jakarta (ANTARA) - Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin has said that deaths caused by cervical cancer can be prevented with the help of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations.

"Currently, the incidence (of cervical cancer) and fatalities caused by cervical cancer can be prevented in several ways, including the (administration of the) HPV vaccination and other early detection efforts," Sadikin said while opening a virtual discussion to commemorate World Cancer Day, which is celebrated every February 4.

The discussion was accessed online from here on Friday.

Preventive measures are essential because cervical cancer is the second leading cause of death among women in Indonesia, accounting for 36,633 cases or 9.2 percent of total cancer cases, the minister said.

According to Sadikin, one of the reasons for the high mortality rate of cancer is low early detection, with screening for cervical cancer only reaching 8.29 percent.

Based on the recommendation of the Indonesian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ITAGI) in 2016, the government, through the Ministry of Health, has carried out demonstrations of HPV vaccinations, the minister said.

Till 2024, such demonstrations will be organized in nine pilot provinces, for which support will be required from various parties, he added.

The demonstrations are supported by the Decree of the Minister of Health Number HK.01.07/MENKES/6779/2021 concerning the Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Introduction Program for 2022–2024, he said.

"This is a concrete form of Indonesia's support for the acceleration of (efforts for) eliminating cervical cancer by 2030," he remarked.

Related news: Health Ministry continue to push immunization against cervical cancer

On a separate occasion, director-general of disease prevention and control at the Ministry of Health, Maxi Rein Rondonuwu, had asked all health facilities to improve early detection services for cancer.

Based on Globocan data, the number of cancer patients in Indonesia reached 65,858 in 2020, with the number of cervical cancer patients recorded at 36,633, he noted.

He highlighted that one-third to one-half of the patients who die of cancer can be saved with the help of preventive measures and early detection.

Related news: Ministry seeks improvement in early cancer detection services

Translator: Prisca Triferna, Raka Adji
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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