The Department of Health (DOH) launches today the School-based Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Immunization.  A take-off inaugural vaccination activity was held at Addition Hills Integrated School in Mandaluyong City.  In collaboration with the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), over 180 Grade IV female students with consent from their parents were vaccinated with the quadrivalent HPV during the said event.
“Shifting the HPV vaccination from a community-based to a school-based approach enables us to provide vaccination services to a ‘catch’ population. We will be able to reach high coverage and dropout rate will be minimized. School health settings will provide good opportunities to integrate vaccine delivery with other health interventions like health information and warnings against tobacco and drug use,” explained DOH Secretary Dr. Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial.
“Making modern healthcare solutions more readily available for people has always been one of the foremost thrust of our local government, especially when it comes to preventing unnecessary suffering. Hence, we fully support the HPV vaccination program,” noted Hon. Carmelita Abalos, City Mayor of Mandaluyong.
Mandaluyong Congresswoman Queenie Gonzales further underscored the significance of vaccination in upholding health and quality of life for the family. “Women have always been at the heart of the Filipino family and society. They are our mothers, sisters, and daughters. We must ensure their protection against diseases such as cervical cancer. Bringing the vaccines in schools, where the target beneficiaries are gathered, helps in intensifying the effort.”
Gracing the occasion were Dr. Ponciano Menguito, DepEd Regional Director for NCR; Hon. Alexandria Gonzales, Representative-Lone District of Mandaluyong City; and Dr. Ariel Valencia, Regional Director of DOH-NCR.
Prior to the launching, community preparation activities like series of orientation were conducted for the parents and guardians of Grade IV female pupils from the 22 public schools in Mandaluyong City.  These activities focused on providing parents and guardian and other stakeholders with basic information on HPV, its related diseases and vaccine
Cervical cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths worldwide.  In the Philippines, more than 6,000 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed every year. HPV infection causes more than 99 percent of cervical cancer cases among women.
“HPV vaccination is part of the DOH’s National Immunization Program.  Vaccination is a basic right of children and NO CHILD shall be deprived of this right.  Our children are one of the most important assets of this country; therefore, every effort should be made to promote their welfare and optimum development. They should be protected from vaccine-preventable diseases. And what better way to do this than through vaccination,” Secretary Ubial concluded.