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January 18 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm


The Government of India has devised a three-phase vaccination plan against Human Papillomavirus (HPV) for girls aged 9-14 to combat the risk of cervical cancer. This initiative aims to safeguard against various cancers caused by HPV strains, and an indigenous vaccine, CERVAVAC, has been launched by the Serum Institute of India.

Cervical cancer, primarily caused by high-risk HPV, is a significant health concern globally, and India, with its high incidence, has introduced measures for prevention and control.

Understanding Cervical Cancer:

  • Cervical cancer is the fourth most prevalent cancer among women worldwide, with nearly all cases linked to high-risk HPV.
  • Persistent infections with certain HPV strains, particularly types 16 and 18, contribute to around 85% of cervical cancer cases.
  • Advanced-stage detection is a challenge due to lack of awareness, fear, and absence of early symptoms, leading to high mortality rates.
  • Access to formal healthcare remains a concern, with some patients resorting to traditional healers before seeking medical attention.

India’s Cervical Cancer Landscape:

  • In India, cervical cancer ranks as the second-most common cancer in women, predominantly affecting the middle-aged population.
  • With 1,23,907 new cases and 77,348 deaths in 2022, India constitutes a significant portion of the global burden.

CERVAVAC – A Indigenous Solution:

  • CERVAVAC, India’s first indigenously developed quadrivalent HPV vaccine, targets four virus strains.
  • The vaccine, based on Virus-Like Particles (VLP), gained approval for bulk procurement after clearance from the Drug Controller General of India.
  • Effective administration is crucial before the first sexual intercourse for optimal efficacy.

Government Initiatives and Challenges:

  • India has various initiatives like the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer and the National Cancer Grid to address cancer-related challenges.
  • Challenges include barriers to early detection, lack of access to formal healthcare, and societal factors influencing patient choices.

Strategies to Eliminate Cervical Cancer:

  • HPV vaccination, early detection through screening, and timely treatment are crucial in preventing and curing cervical cancer.
  • The 10–15-year pre-invasive phase offers an opportunity for early detection and outpatient treatment, resulting in high cure rates.
  • Cervical cancer is unique in its potential for elimination, aligning with Sustainable Development Goal 3.4.

WHO Targets and Government Initiatives:

  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) sets ambitious targets for cervical cancer elimination, focusing on vaccination, screening, and treatment.
  • The Government of India implements cancer screening in primary health centres, and indigenous kits and vaccines aid in resource-scarce settings.

Technological Advancements and Population-Level Awareness:

  • Innovations like single-dose HPV vaccination, self-sampling for HPV testing, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies enhance cervical cancer prevention.
  • The urgent need for population-level awareness, vaccine promotion, and age-appropriate screening is underscored.

Comprehensive Approach to Strengthen Care:

  • A comprehensive approach involves accurate diagnosis, robust cancer registries, reduced financial burden, and well-connected care pathways.
  • Digital technologies, collaborations, and partnerships play a vital role in successful cervical cancer elimination.


The rising cases of cervical cancer demand immediate preventive measures. Early detection through screening and HPV vaccination offers a critical opportunity for intervention with high cure rates. The WHO targets, coupled with government initiatives, provide a roadmap for comprehensive action. Success in eliminating cervical cancer requires sustained efforts, including awareness campaigns, vaccine promotion, and collaborative approaches to strengthen cervical cancer care.


January 18
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
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