By Murib Morpi
KOTA KINABALU: The Ministry of Health (MOH) yesterday officially launched the HPV (Human Pappiloma Virus) immunisation programme for Sabah, targeting to vaccinate 75,754 female students from 24 districts across the state this year.
Deputy Health Minister Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin said a total of 98 health facilities have been mobilised for this purpose and female students from 82 schools have so far been vaccinated.
She said that the vaccine will be administered in three dosages over a period of six months to all female Form 1 students in all 230 schools in the State.
The vaccine was believed to be able to protect against cervical cancer or at least reduce the risk of getting infected by the disease for 20 years after. Human Pappiloma Virus (HPV) is closely associated with cervical cancer with 99 percent of cervical cancer cases had reportedly been linked to the virus. Cervical cancer has been listed as the third most common cancer among women in Malaysia behind breast and colorectal cancers, infecting an estimated 1,500 victims in the country annually and contributing about six percent of deaths caused by cancer among women.