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Death for 70,000 Indian women a year; fun for politicians and media #HPV #vaccines #healthindia #GAVI

A hard-hitting new opinion piece calls on Indian politicians and media to take seriously the country’s appalling death rate from cervical cancer.

More women die from the disease every year in India than in any other country; a vaccine could prevent 80 percent of future cases; almost every middle class girl in the country gets the shot but; India refuses to even plan seriously to make this vaccine available to girls through the public sector. A recent parliamentary report seemed to be riddled with illogical thinking and to reflect the wildest assertions of vested interests determined to stop any vaccine not manufactured in India from being made available to the mass of vulnerable girls.

Today Dr Seth Berkley, chief executive of the GAVI Alliance, a global public-private partnership, says,  “the media and politicians should not be allowed to get away with conveniently ignoring context and fact to pursue their own agenda.” They need a shot of good sense, he ays. Read the full text of his op ed in today’s Guardian. 

Indian girls dressed in traditional attire in Pushkar, Rajasthan, India

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