Whanganui DHBMonday 16 July 2012, 1:22PM
Media release from Whanganui DHB
The Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB) has out-performed the
country's 19 other DHBs in its efforts to vaccinate Year 8 girls
against cervical cancer.
WDHB immunisation coordinator Karen Howard confirmed today that
WDHB had successfully vaccinated 88 percent of Year 8 Maori girls
with human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV).
This was the highest result in the country and eight percent more
than Tairawhiti (East Coast) DHB which was the second highest
"Contributing to our top placing was the 65 percent rate the
WDHB achieved for New Zealand European and 'other' Year 8
girls, the 70 percent rate we achieved for Pacific girls and
the 73 percent overall," says Ms Howard.
"It's been a great team effort between the WDHB, public
health staff, administrators, general practitioners (GPs),
practice nurses, the Whanganui Regional Primary Health Organisation
outreach team, iwi providers, schools, the Maori Women's Welfare
League and parents.
"When you consider that the HPV vaccine protects against over 70
percent of cervical cancer and 90 percent of genital warts while
also helping to protect against some types of anal, oropharyngeal
(throat), vulva and vagina cancers, it's a very important
vaccination to have.
"The fact it is free for girls up to the age of 20 should be an
incentive for parents of girls who haven't had the vaccination to
arrange for them to do so."
Ms Howard says the vaccine is approved for males up to age 26 and
females up to age 45, but it is not funded for these groups. For
those who do not qualify for free vaccinations, the cost is
$500-$600 for a three injection course, which is most effective
when given before a person becomes sexually active.