In an earnest endeavor to address the pressing issue of cancer among women, the Ministry of Public Health, in collaboration with partner networks, has undertaken a proactive campaign to raise awareness about two of the most prevalent cancers affecting women: cervical and breast cancer. This comprehensive effort is set to make a significant impact, with a forthcoming Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination campaign scheduled to commence in November.
Minister of Public Health, Cholnan Srikaew, has set the stage for this crucial initiative by convening a significant meeting. The purpose of this gathering was to assess the current situation of cancer in women, while also formulating policies aimed at increasing awareness about cancer and improving women’s access to essential cancer care.
The gravity of the situation becomes apparent when we look at the statistics provided by the National Cancer Institute. Each year, approximately 17,000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed, tragically leading to the loss of around 4,800 lives. Moreover, there are around 5,400 new cases of cervical cancer annually, resulting in roughly 2,200 fatalities.
In light of these alarming figures, the Ministry of Public Health has issued a directive, outlining a core policy known as “comprehensive cancer care.” This policy, set to be implemented in 2024, encompasses a multi-faceted approach to tackling the cancer crisis. It includes elements such as raising awareness about the diseases, establishing efficient screening and diagnostic protocols, ensuring timely treatment for cancer patients, and extending palliative care to those in need. An ambitious objective of this policy is to yield substantial results within the first 100 days of its implementation.
A crucial component of this comprehensive strategy involves the initiation of an HPV vaccination drive, with the ambitious target of vaccinating one million females aged 11 to 20 years. This nationwide campaign is poised to launch next month, reinforcing the Ministry’s commitment to safeguarding the health and well-being of the nation’s women.