MOROCCCO – The Moroccan Ministry of Health has recommended the vaccine against Human papillomavirus (HPV) to combat the virus that causes development of precancerous and cancerous lesions of the cervix.

Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women after breast cancer in terms of frequency and mortality rate in Morocco, according to the Ministry of Health.

The World Health Organization reports that 99% of cases of cervical cancer are linked to an infection with the Human Papilloma Viruses which are a very common virus that spreads through sexual contact.

In 2020, an estimated 604,237 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer globally representing 6.5% of all female cancers with approximately 341,843 recorded fatalities.

Consequently, Morocco has entered into a close collaboration with the Lalla Salma Foundation to develop cancer prevention and control plans which prioritizes cervical cancer prevention.

The health ministry made the announcement during an event was planned by the Moroccan Association of General Practitioners Sonographers (AMECHO) in Casablanca to raise awareness of cervical cancer.

The ministry also took the opportunity to assess the epidemiological situation, present the most recent statistics and discuss the impact of cervical cancer in Morocco while sharing the most recent news of its origins, current diagnostic and treatment tools.

In addition, the Mohammed VI University of Health Sciences (UM6SS) partnered the pharmaceutical Merck Sharp and Dohme to raise awareness among medical professionals on issues concerning the prevention, screening and early care of cervical cancer.

The President of the UM6SS Chakib Nejjari said she was honored to host the scientific event on the premises of the University and to raise awareness among the medical profession about cervical cancer.

“The event highlights the importance of mobilizing health professionals especially general practitioners and raising their awareness of the dangers of cervical cancer,” she further said.

The President of the AMECHO emphasized that cervical cancer is currently the only cancer that can be prevented through vaccination hence the vaccine is the most important weapon in the fight against this type of cancer.

Access to this vaccine is possible in the private sector and will soon be in the public sector thus strategic partnerships between the sectors is crucial to contribute to the elimination of this disease,” added Achibet.

Current vaccines are highly effective in preventing infections with high-risk types of HPV which are the most common cause of cervical cancer hence effective safeguarding methods exist to detect precancerous wounds of the cervix.

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