“The HPV Vaccination Initiative to prevent HPV related cancers including Cervical cancer was started by the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), in collaboration with Tanvir Foundation concluded successfully in Hyderabad with a virtual program attended by leadership of AAPI and local participation by leadership of IMA Telangana on July 17th,” said Dr. Ravi Kolli, President of AAPI. “It was heartening to be part of this noble initiative’s concluding ceremony virtually,’ he added.
The first of a kind program administered free HPV vaccines to the poor and underserved adolescent girls at the local Tanvir Hospital in Srinagar Colony, Hyderabad in India with the objective of preventing HPV related cancers, including cervical cancer, which is a leading cause of cancer deaths among women in India. The initial launch of the program was held on January 9th, 2022, during the 15th annual Global Healthcare Summit in Hyderabad at Tanvir Hospital, Hyderabad, India under the leadership of Dr. Anupama Gotimukula, Immediate past president of AAPI. “AAPI is happy to initiate the HPV Vaccine Program, We at AAPI, in keeping with our efforts and initiatives to educate, create awareness and provide support on disease prevention,” Dr. Gotimukula, past-president of AAPI said.
The HPV vaccination program requires two doses of the vaccine to prevent cancer. The 2nd phase of the free vaccination camp was conducted on July 17th, 2022 at Tanvir Hospital, Hyderabad, with the lighting of the traditional lamp by Dr. Sampath Rao, Presidentn of IMATelangan, Dr. Raghunandan, President of IMA North, Dr. Surendranath, Secretary of IMA Telangana, Dr. Meeta Singh, and Dr. Naunihal Singh of Tanvir Hospital who administered second dose of HPV vaccine to the 100 adolescent girls, completing the vaccination program
AAPI Advisor Dr. Dwarakanatha Reddy said, “If vaccination programs are effectively implemented, approximately 90 percent of invasive cervical cancer cases worldwide could be prevented, in addition to the majority of precancerous lesions.”
Usually, cervical cancer develops slowly over time, and another powerful preventive measure is Pap test screening, a procedure during which cells are collected from the surface of the cervix and examined. The Pap test can both detect cancer at an early stage, treatment outcomes tend to be better.
Dr. V. Ranga, Chair, Board of Trustees pointed out: “Once a leading cause of cancer death for women in the United States, today, screening and prevention have greatly reduced the impact of this form of cancer. Increasing screening and prevention are key components of the effort to eradicate cervical cancer.” Since almost all cases of the disease are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, vaccines that protect against the virus could prevent the vast majority of cases.
Dr. Anjana Samaddar, President-Elect of AAPI said, “Cervical cancer could be the first cancer EVER in the world to be eliminated, if: 90 % of girls are vaccinated; 70% of women are screened; and, 90% of women with cervical disease receive treatment. This is an important step towards reaching goal,” she pointed out.
While elaborating the objectives of the Summit, Dr. Satheesh Kathula, Vice President of AAPI, said, “In addition to Cervical cancer, GHS 2022 provided education on: Chronic diseases which can be prevented- notably diabetes, cardiovascular, hypertension, COPD, oncology, maternal and infant mortality, lifestyle changes, geriatrics, management of neurological emergencies, ENLS, a certification course”.
“In coordination with the local organizers, AAPI donated the funds for the HPV Vaccination, a total of 200 doses for the vaccine for 100 children from the state of Telangana,” said Dr. Meher Medavaram, an organizer of the program, and the Secretary of AAPI. “AAPI’s this new initiative through education and awareness programs is aimed at helping save millions of lives in India,” she added.
According to The American Cancer Society, Cervical Cancer was once one of the most common causes of cancer death for American women. The cervical cancer death rate dropped significantly with the increased use of the Pap test for screening. Expressing confidence, Dr. Udaya Shivangi, Chair of AAPI’s GHS in Hyderabad, said, “Together we can all bring awareness in the community to prevent Cervical Cancer in India which is 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths in women!”
“Through Continuing Medical Education and non-CME seminars by experts in their fields, AAPI provides comprehensive and current reviews and guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of various disease states to reduce morbidity and mortality and achieve cost effective quality care outcomes,” said Dr. Sumul Raval, Treasurer of AAPI.
Dr. Ravi Kolli, President of AAPI believes, “Cervical Cancer is preventable through HPV Vaccination and Early Pap smears and cervical examinations. Justifiably so, one of our preventive campaign goals has been to provide education and vaccination for prevention of Cervical Cancer in India.” For more information, please visit www.aapiusa.org