Indonesia can eliminate this cancer virus by increasing the coverage of HPV immunization in every city, so that this can reduce mortality and costs due to cancer
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The government is working towards expanding the scope of the human papillomavirus (HPV) immunization program to reduce the prevalence and death rate from cervical cancer.

"Cancer has killed more than 200 thousand people in Indonesia," Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin stated through a ministry's press release here on Wednesday.

The majority is because they have not received adequate treatment, and early detection is still low, he remarked.

"Indonesia can eliminate this cancer virus by increasing the coverage of HPV immunization in every city, so that this can reduce mortality and costs due to cancer," he affirmed.

Cervical cancer is a malignant disease that attacks the cervix. This disease is caused by various factors, including HPV infection.

Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that causes the second highest number of deaths and one of the biggest health financing burdens in Indonesia.

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Globocan 2021 data indicated 36,633 cases of cervical cancer in Indonesia. The causes are varied, including heredity, unhealthy environment and lifestyle, and viral infections.

Sadikin said that this type of cancer, with a high risk of death, can be prevented, including by giving immunization.

The Ministry of Health has designated HPV immunization as one of the 14 complete basic immunizations for children.

They also issued Decree of the Minister of Health Number HK.01.07/MENKES/6779/2021 concerning the introduction of the HPV immunization program from 2022 to 2024.

HPV vaccination has been made mandatory for grade 5 and 6 elementary school girls in the School Children Immunization Month (BIAS) activity that is held every year in August.

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In addition, the government is endeavoring to increase the availability of the HPV vaccine in the country to support the implementation of immunization to prevent cervical cancer.

To increase the development capacity of the HPV vaccine domestically, the state-owned pharmaceutical holding company has entered into a technology transfer cooperation with a multinational pharmaceutical company from the United States, Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD).

"With the potential for technology transfer, along with expertise, knowledge and experience from MSD, as a leading global manufacturer of HPV vaccines, I believe this will be beneficial for Bio Farma and for the independence of the health sector in Indonesia, especially in vaccine development," Sadikin remarked.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Katriana
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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