KATHMANDU – Minister for Finance Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat asserted that the government allocated budget for the current fiscal year 2023/24 attaching a high priority to the health sector.
Inaugurating a one-day workshop organized by an organization-People’s Access to Adequate Natural Infrastructures – here today, Minister Mahat shared that the government would consider higher investment in the sector of health having the most affected demography.
Considering the resource constraints in the country’s health sector, Mahat emphasized collaboration with the international community. He also called for optimization of the limited resources and delivery setting priorities.
The workshop was organized to deliberate on the promotion of HPV vaccination through public private partnership to eliminate cervical cancer in Nepal by 2030.
According to him, the budget allocation should be prioritized in the areas that give the highest returns. He pledged that budget, form the next fiscal year, would be allocated by identifying our needs and finding out the areas of health, education and infrastructures that affects the populations the most.
Expressing his concern over increasing cases of cervical cancer among the women lately, the Minister shared that the incumbent government was working towards elimination of the cervical cancer.
Arguing that the HPV vaccine would prevent the factor causing the cervical cancer and thereby eliminating the possibility of the disease, he underscored awareness drive on the cervical cancer. Minister Mahat said that eradication of cervical cancer was among the top priorities of the incumbent government and would consider allocating budget accordingly.
Similarly, oncologist Dr Arun Shahi, presenting a harrowing picture of cancer in women in Nepal, informed that at least six cases of cervical cancer were report on a daily basis in our country.
Dr Shahi, thus, underlined administration of the HPV vaccine as a preventive measure. He opined that the government should incorporate HPV vaccination drive in its annual programme and administer the vaccine in teenagers from 9 to 15 years.
According to him, the HPV vaccine would not work for women above 26 years. He said the HPV vaccine was 99 per cent effective and pointed out the need to identify the women between 21 to 65 years who, according to him, are the most vulnerable group for cervical cancer.
Unsafe sex, excessive smoking and marriage at young age are the factors increasing risk for cervical cancer in women, according to Dr Shahi.