By Priya Adhyaru Majithia
Girls are facing puberty at the tender age of eight when they are as yet unaware of the physiological, psychological and social impact of this major change in their life. Blame obesity, stress and wrong food, say experts.
They said that this had forced the medical fraternity to lower vaccination recommendation age. According to the Indian Academy of Paediatrics Committee of Immunisation’s (IAPCOI) latest recommendations, cervix cancer vaccine initiation age has been set at eight to nine years. In 2008, it was 11-12 years. Cervical cancer takes the lives of eight women in India every hour.
Dr Purvi Nanavati, gynaecologist working with Naari, a group creating awareness on women’s health issues in association with state’s health department, reiterated: “The prime reason for lowering the age bar is early puberty.”
Early onset of puberty was not thought to be a health concern in India till the last few years. Lifestyle-induced obesity and environmental factors such as the presence of endocrine-inhibiting chemicals in food has changed the scene in Indian metros.