Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Phạm Thị Hải Triều, 23, from the south central coastal province of Ninh Thuận, had searched for information about human papillomavirus (HPV) on many websites to learn about the virus and why girls and women aged 9-26 get HPV vaccine.
“I was advised to get the vaccine by a lecturer at HCM City University of Science. Two weeks ago, an online contest on HPV and cervical cancer prevention and control inspired my curiosity and participation. That is the reason why I searched for information about this issue,” Triều said.
She added that through searching, she has a better understanding about HPV, which can lead to cancers such as penile cancer among men and cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancers among women, as well as the importance of the vaccine against HPV.
This understanding helped her win the online contest for HPV and cervical cancer prevention and control held from April 22 to May 13 by Việt Nam Association of Preventive Medicine in co-operation with HPV Việt Nam Facebook Fanpage.
Asso.Prof Dr Trần Ngọc Hữu, deputy chairman of the Việt Nam Association of Preventive Medicine, said that the contest is a part of the annual programmes of the association and HPV Việt Nam, which is considered a community providing and sharing reliable and accurate information and experiences around HPV for the public.
“The programmes aim to improve people’s awareness and call on them to take part in the prevention of cervical cancer, which kills seven women in the country each day, and other diseases relating to HPV,” Hữu said.
The contest’s 70 winners will help spread education on HPV and related diseases to their friends and relatives in order to reduce the health burden caused by this group of viruses, he added.
Raising awareness on HPV and cervical cancer, which is diagnosed in 14 women every day in the country, as well as preventive methods, is one of the targets aimed by the National Action Plan on Prevention and Control of Cervical Cancer in the country for the period from 2016 to 2025.
The plan targets 70 per cent of adults to have awareness on this issue.
The contest’s winners receive free vaccine at Từ Dũ Hospital in HCM City and National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology in Hà Nội.
Nguyễn Phạm Mỹ Trang, 26, from the south central coastal province of Phú Yên, who was also one of the 70 winners, said: “I wanted to get a vaccine against HPV for a long time, but I did not do this because I could not afford paying around VNĐ1.2 million (US$52.6) to get the vaccine to protect against four HPV types.”
Trang said that the vaccine against two HPV types was cheaper, but she did not want to get it.
Such contests help to raise the rate of girls and women aged 9-26 getting vaccines as the action plan’s goal aims to vaccinate at least 25 per cent of them by 2025.
Dr Trần Ngọc Hải, deputy head of Từ Dũ Obstetrics Hospital, advised that in addition to getting a vaccine, women should visit hospitals for periodic gynaecological examinations and Pap tests which are methods to detect cervical cancer.
A programme for the screening of cervical cancer is being carried out in the country to help prevent it. —VNS