Working to eliminate a preventable cancer

Cervical cancer ranks as the top-most common cancer among women in Bhutan. In an effort to address this, the Ministry of Health is working towards eliminating this cancer.

Lyonpo Dechen Wangmo who is the member of the Executive Board (EB) of the World Health Organisation (WHO) representing South East Asia region, led Bhutan’s delegation to the 144th session of WHO EB in Geneva, Switzerland from 24th January to 1st February this year.

Apart from many other important discussions, one of the major interventions made by Lyonpo and her delegation was on strategising to eliminate cervical cancer in Bhutan.

Bhutan pronounced on the disparity existing within the countries in its approach to address/manage cervical cancer with majority of death occurring in low- and middle-income countries.

Plans to improve the early detection and prompt treatment as an effective strategy to accelerate cervical cancer management was presented. Our initiative as a LDC to introduce nationwide Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine in 2010 was highlighted.

The support of the Australian Cervical Cancer Foundation was also acknowledged.

Lyonchhen said that cervical cancer is easily preventable, easily detectable, and easily treatable, if vaccine and tests are carried out on time. To this effect, the government is strategising plans and programs so that our woman do not have to succumb to cervical cancer.  Lyonchhen also said that cervical cancer is not just the problem of a woman. If a woman doesn’t have intercourse she will not get it, hence the virus is transmitted from men. Vaccinating men will help reduce cervical cancer in woman, Lyonchhen added.

Lyonchhen and the Health Minister called upon the media to empower the general public with information about cervical cancer so that early detection is made possible and lives are saved.

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