Research in cervical cancer in women imperative: Pechuho

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Sindh Minister for Health and Population Welfare Dr. Azra Fazal Pechuho has said that research in cervical cancer in women is imperative, as Human Papillomavirus (HPV) immunization of adolescent girls can substantially reduce the risk of cervical cancer in
the country.

The Sindh Health Ministry is in the process of initiating a well-structured immunization initiative along with international partners in high-risk populations.

She was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the three-Day IPVS Satellite Symposium on “Human Papillomavirus and Cervical Cancer” held in the Prof. Salimuzzaman Siddiqui Auditorium of the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi, on Thursday.

The inaugural ceremony was also addressed by Vice-Chancellor University of Karachi Prof. Dr. Khalid Iraqi, Prof. Dr. Atta-ur Rahman, ICCBS Patron-in-chief and former Federal Minister for Science and Technology, Prof. Dr. M. Iqbal Choudhary, Director of the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences, and COMSTECH Coordinator General, German Consul General Mr. Rodiger Rotz, Prof. Dr. Thomas Iftner, Director Medical Virology Institute, Tubingen University, Germany, and
Dr. Atia-tul-Wahab.

The lady minister said that she firmly believed that only a healthy mother could raise a healthy family.

She said that the health ministry had already initiated HPV screening in several maternity centers of mega cities of Sindh. I look forward to the advice and technical support of our international partners in this endeavor, she adds. I believe this IPVS Satellite Symposium is critically important to raise awareness about HPV associated diseases and to build capacity in HPV research, she said.

In recognition of the internationally reputed scientific excellence of the ICCBS, my ministry has decided to support various programs and initiatives of the ICCBS, she said

Later on, addressing a press conference on the issue of HPV and Cervical Cancer, she said that the provincial ministry was trying to enhance various immunization programs but the historical destruction of the ongoing flood had derailed all the activities. We do not have any date of Human Papillomavirus, and this is really a dilemma of this country,
she lamented.
She said that her ministry was currently engaged in handling the epic challenges of recent catastrophic floods.

“Our province and our people are affected the most, and thus we need to provide them with the basic necessities of life. This is also our duty to protect them from numerous life-threatening diseases, including dengue, gastro, water borne infections, and skin disorders,” she said.

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