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Tarlac launches SHIELD vs cervical cancer

TARLAC CITY — The provincial government of Tarlac launched its Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Community and School-based Immunization Program for females.

HPV vaccine prevents women-related cancers, such as cervical cancer, as it protects the body from infections leading to it.

Governor Susan Yap underscored the crucial role of the government in directing programs that can break the silence and clear up confusions surrounding the disease.

“We need strong government efforts towards health campaigns specifically focused on information and education about HPV and cervical cancer and concrete activities like this where we can deliver essential protection to our adolescent females,” Yap emphasized.

By learning about HPV and its early warning signs, women can take charge of their health, undergo regular screenings, and detect diseases promptly.

“Through this program, we are empowering our youth and women with information that can allow them to make informed decisions regarding their health. They can speak up for themselves and seek our preventive measures,” the governor added.

Shifting the healthcare system from a curative care approach to preventive care allows detection of problems earlier before causing other symptoms that are harder to treat.

“The activity we are doing is for prevention. Vaccination and other activities such as this helps us to avoid illnesses that are already known,” she pressed.

About 2,211 adolescent females aged 9 to 14, the recommended age group, received their jabs during the ceremonial vaccination held at New Clark City Athletics Stadium. This act marked the beginning of a province-wide immunization campaign.

Ashley Reyes, a 10-year old beneficiary from the municipality of Capas, extended her appreciation to the organizers for the vaccines they received.

“We thank the Capas Municipal Health Office, Governor Susan Yap, and Mayor Boots Rodriguez for our free vaccines. Now we are sure that when we grow up, we are protected from HPV,” Reyes said.

Aside from vaccination, Obstetrics and Gynecology Specialist Dennis Delgado discussed HPV and the diseases it can cause.

Tarlac Strengthening HPV Immunization towards Elimination through Leadership Development (SHIELD) is being implemented by the provincial government in partnership with the Department of Health, Department of Education, and various Non-government Organizations. This initiative aims to protect women from HPV by providing free immunization.

Tarlac SHIELD’s goals include educating the public about the importance of HPV vaccination, training healthcare providers, and ensuring vaccine accessibility across the province.