The vaccine manufactured by Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) has been approved by the UAE Ministry of Health (MoH) and is now currently available at private healthcare institutions across the nation.
Three key speakers hosted the press conference to share their expertise on cervical cancer and the importance of the new vaccine; Dr. Marc Steben, a Medical Consultant, at the Quebec National Public Health Institute and Gynecology-Oncology Department, University of Montréal Hospital Centre, Canada; Dr. Saad Aswad, Associate Professor of Gynecology, at the UAE University and Senior Consultant Gynecologist Oncologist, Tawam Hospital and finally; Dr. Wissam Haddadin, Medical Adivsor and Franchise Manager from MSD – Gulf.
Gardasil was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Europe Medicines Agency (EMEA) in 2006 and is currently approved for use by health regulators in over 33 countries, including the UAE. Gardasil targets HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) types 6, 11, 16 and 18, which are the most common strains linked to cervical cancer and genital warts. HPV types 16 and 18 are responsible for 75 percent of all cervical cancer cases.
Gardasil is indicated in all girls and females aged 9-26 years for prevention of Cervical Cancer, Cervical, Vulvar and Vaginal dysplasia and Genital warts.
“Cervical cancer can be a very traumatic experience for women, especially if the disease is not detected early,” says Dr. Saad Aswad, Consultant Gynecologist Oncologist in Tawam Hospital, and Associate Professor of Gynecology, at the UAE University.
“Now that the vaccine is available we hope to see a reduction in the prevalence and incidence of cervical cancer cases world wide and in the Middle East region. Cervical cancer is an important public health issue which can be addressed by educating the general public on the benefits of screening and vaccination.”
Cervical cancer is primarily caused by HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) infection. Cervical cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in women worldwide approximately, 2.3 million women are currently diagnosed with cervical cancer worldwide, and 800 women die daily due to cervical cancers. The annual average of reported cervical cancer cases in UAE has tripled in 2005 compared to reported cases from 1998 to 2004 (Source: Cancer Registry Program).
“The general public’s reaction to Gardasil in Canada has been positive and we are witnessing large number of women taking the initiative to vaccinate themselves and female siblings,” added Dr. Marc Steben, Medical Consultant, Québec National Public Health Institute and University of Montréal Hospital Centre. “People are particularly reassured by the safety and efficacy of the vaccine following extensive international clinical trials.”
“Merck is proud to be the leader in cervical cancer vaccine research and development,” added Dr. Wsiam Haddadin, ‘and Gardasil is designed to prevent the majority of HPV-related clinical diseases, not only cervical cancer but also genital warts.’
Gardasil is a ready-to-use, three-dose vaccine, and should be administered in three injections in the upper arm or upper thigh over a six-month period. The following dosage schedule is recommended: first dose at elected date, second dose two months after the first dose, and the third dose should be administered six months after the first dose.
The health care provider should inform the patient, parent or guardian that vaccination does not substitute routine cervical cancer screening. Women who receive Gardasil should continue to undergo cervical cancer screening per standard of care.
Thursday, November 16- 2006 @ 15:29 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.