PRESIDENT Benigno C. Aquino III will lead the national launching of the expanded human papillomavirus (HPV) or the anti-cervical cancer vaccination on Tuesday, May 3, in Iloilo City.

The launching will kick off with a ceremonial vaccination of a nine-year-old girl pupil of Baluarte Elementary School in Molo district.

The girl, May Carillo will be accompanied by her mother during the vaccination program at the Sarabia Manor Hotel where Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Jeanette Garin briefs more than 1,000 participants on the various national DOH programs and services during the term of the President.

DOH is implementing the massive anti-cervical cancer vaccination (HPV) on Grade 4 female students in all public schools nationwide as part of the school-based immunization program of DOH dubbed “Bakunang Tuloy-Tuloy para sa Malusog na Batang Pinoy. “

The vaccination will be administered to Grade 4 female students aged 9 to 13 years old in provinces in the country with high poverty incidence which include Iloilo and Negros Occidental.

Based on the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO), early adolescence is the best time to get vaccinated since there is no exposure yet to the virus. It is also at this time the body mounts the highest immune response to vaccination and recommended before young girls become sexually active.

Cervical cancer caused by HPV in over 99 percent of cases, is the second most common cancer in women globally. It remains a public health concern that continues to threaten the welfare and wellbeing of women.

In the Philippines, the DOH claims that cervical cancer is the third leading cause of mortality among females as it claims the lives of 12 women each day. (LCP)