From EMELDA MWITWA in Nijmegen, The Netherlands
THE HPV vaccine against cervical cancer has helped to reduce cancer cases by 60 to 70 percent in the Netherlands, First Lady Christine Kaseba and her delegation heard from a professor at Radboud University Medical Centre (UMC) here.
Professor Leon Massuger, a gynaecologist oncologist, urged Zambia to put up a vigorous sensitisation campaign on the benefits of the HPV vaccine before implementing the vaccination programme.
Speaking when Dr Kaseba, accompanied by Ministry of Health child health specialist Penelope Kalesha-Masumbu, visited the high-tech university teaching hospital, Prof. Massuger said the HPV vaccine has shown positive results over the three years the programme has been rolled out.
He said the Netherlands has managed to vaccinate 60 percent girls aged 11 to 12 years although there was a bit of resistance until it successfully dismissed all misleading notions about the vaccine.
Prof Massuger said the Netherlands health system is fighting cervical cancer through screening and vaccination. He said Government has invested heavily in the programme, spending 375 euros per person for the HPV vaccine, and a total of 25million euros annually for cervical cancer screening. The Netherlands, which has a population of 16.7 million people, records about 700 cases of cervical cancer cases per annum, which Prof Massuger says is not a huge problem compared with the prevalence rates in developing countries.
[Note from SaneVax: This all sounds wonderful until you look at the facts. The Netherlands instituted an HPV vaccination program 3 years ago. Cervical cancer takes decades to develop. It is impossible for HPV vaccines to have shown any impact on cervical cancer to date. In fact, if you look at the cervical cancer deaths from the last two years recorded in the Netherlands you will see that in 2009 there were 40 cervical cancer deaths in women under the age of 50. In 2010, there were 43 cervical cancer deaths in the same age group – hardly evidence of a 60-70% reduction.
In short, it appears the people of Zambia are not being told the truth. With all due respect, Professor Massuger should do a better job of ‘dispelling the misleading notions’ surrounding HPV vaccines. Health officials of Zambia – Beware – Educate Before You Vaccinate!]