MSD Egypt holds symposium on importance of vaccines to avoid HPV, cervical cancer

Ingy Deif, Tuesday 17 May 2022

Under the slogan ‘Long life for all’, Egypt held a global symposium on 13 May to raise awareness about the pivotal role of vaccines in avoiding some diseases.

symposium to raise awareness


More specifically, the symposium discussed diseases caused by viral infections, the most prominent of which is the human papillomavirus (HPV), which can cause some cancers and skin abrasions.

The panel explained that this virus in particular comes in 150 types and affects both men and women, however, it is more prevalent in women, with around 14.3 percent of Egyptian women reportedly suffering from the disease.

Oncologists then shed light on the fact that the world learned first-hand the importance of vaccines after the coronavirus pandemic, which drastically affected all actors on the world stage.

Life could not return to any semblance of normalcy until millions of people got their vaccine.

The symposium was held as a collaboration between a prominent group of doctors with private sector pharmaceutical MSD Egypt.

The panel included Dr Ayman Abu El-Nour, head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Ain Shams University; along with Dr Ahmed Hassan Abdel-Aziz, assistant professor of oncology at Ain Shams University and member of the Executive Committee of the Presidential Campaign for Women’s Health.

It also included Dr Mohamed El-Azab, head of the Egyptian Society of Colposcopy& Clinical Pathology; and Dr Basel Rifki, vice president of the Egyptian Society of  Gynecological Oncology.

During the discussion, Abu El-Nour spoke about HPV, its symptoms, its transmission methods, and the efforts of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Ain Shams University to raise awareness of the importance of vaccination as well as its efforts to improve early detection to save the lives of thousands of women.

For his part, El-Azab discussed the causes of the spread of HPV and the latest global rates of spread.

He also spoke about the role of the Egyptian Society for Cervical Endoscopy in improving early detection of cervical cancer and awareness of its danger.

Abdel-Aziz then reviewed the relationship between HPV and cancer, and its cause in some types of cancer such as cervical, pharyngeal, anal, vaginal, and vulval.

He also shed light on cervical cancer, especially because HPV is the main cause of its occurrence, adding that studies indicate that it is the fourth most common type of cancer in women and caused the death of about 342,000 women in 2020.

Furthermore, the panel stressed that complications caused by HPV can be avoided through vaccination for men and women of different ages to avoid infection and thereby various types of cancers and skin warts caused by the virus.

They added that studies indicate a decrease in the prevalence of HPV infections in the UK from 17.6 percent in 2008 to 6.1 percent in the post-vaccination period.

Additionally, Rifki spoke about the risk of developing cancer, the special care it requires, its treatment and follow-up, and the burden on the patient and their family both financially and morally, in addition to the side effects of treatments.

Finally, they stressed that HPV vaccination is crucial for children, and that they should be receiving different doses depending on their age.

Children from the age of nine to 14 years can be vaccinated against HPV by receiving two doses, while those that are 15 and above require three.

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