Sikkim will have the unique distinction to become the first state in the country to launch an ambitious campaign to tackle cervical cancer among women in the State.
Sikkim government is set to roll out the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination programme across the State from July 30.
Punjab has also launched a similar programme as pilot project in two districts.
But Sikkim is launching the programme statewide.
The vaccination would be administered to girls aged 9-14 years free of cost to protect them against cervical cancer, the second most common cancer in women worldwide.
This was announced by State Health Department officials during a sensitization workshop on HPV vaccination held in Gangtok on Wednesday.
The workshop was conducted by State Health Department and sponsored by UNICEF.
Interacting with media, state immunization officer Phumzay Denzongpa informed that the actual price of HPV is Rs 3,000 but the Central Government has procured from UNICEF at Rs 400 and the girls will be vaccinated free of cost.
The first vaccination will commence from July 30 in all the schools where girls aged 9-14 years would be vaccinated with a 15-day period.
The second dose will be given in February 2019.
UNICEF health officer for Northeastern States Maulik Shah highlighted that HPV vaccination is the largest public health programme of the country.
HPV is the main cause of cervical cancer. It is a common virus, which can be easily spread during sexual activity. Early sexual activity, multiple partners, tobacco use are the risk factors in cervical cancer.
Every year 5.2 lakh new cases are diagnosed with 2.7 lakh resulting in deaths and over 85 per cent of cases and deaths occur in developing countries.