The centre requests that states compile information on girls aged 9 to 14 and raise awareness of cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer vaccinations for girls between the ages of nine and 14 will primarily be offered through schools, the Center announced today.
Additionally, it requested that states and UTs begin compiling information on the number of girls enrolled in Classes V to X in each district and raise awareness of the value of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.
For registration, recording and reporting of vaccination numbers, the U-WIN App would be used, said the Ministry of Education.
According to the ministry, a joint letter from the secretaries of education and health to states highlighted that cervical cancer was the second most common cancer and that it was responsible for the largest share of the burden of cervical cancer worldwide.
If detected early and treated effectively, cervical cancer is a preventable and curable disease.
The HPV virus is a common cause of cervical cancer, and the vaccine, if given to girls and women before they are exposed to the virus, can help prevent the disease in most cases.
One of the cornerstones of the global strategy the WHO has adopted for the eradication of cervical cancer is prevention through vaccination, it said.
The National Technical Advisory Group for Immunization has advised including the HPV vaccine in the Universal Immunization Program with a one-time catch-up for girls between the ages of nine and 14 and a routine introduction after nine years.
States and UTs have been tasked with providing the necessary guidance to ensure the campaign’s success, including setting up HPV vaccination clinics in schools and educating parents through unique parent-teacher conferences.
“Schools would be the main source of the vaccination.
The vaccination would be given at a health facility in order to reach those girls who are unable to go to school on the day of the campaign.
The campaign will be carried out for out-of-school girls through community outreach and mobile teams, the letter states.
The Center also urged the states and UTs to set up handwashing stations and train teachers to teach students about hygiene.