News From the Field

“NO ONE SHOULD DIE OF A DISEASE THAT IS TREATABLE. HEALTH CARE IS A BASIC HUMAN RIGHT”

PAUL FARMER

PHRII Studies New HPV Vaccine

While the controversy about the HPV vaccine continues to swirl through India, PHRII continues to increase awareness and education around this important vaccine. “We all know that there are risks with every vaccine,” says Dr. Madhivanan, Founder of PHRII. “We have to balance these potential risks against the possibility that we can save thousands of women from getting cervical cancer.”

PHRII has been conducting research on HPV vaccine acceptability for more than three years. The first two studies explored barriers and facilitators to vaccine uptake among physicians and parents of adolescent girls. The studies found high interest among

parents once they understood the connection between HPV infection and increased risk for cervical cancer. Perhaps not surprisingly, parents in rural areas without access to medical services, were even more supportive of introducing the vaccine.

The newest study is being conducted among a random sample of parents of school-going adolescent girls in Mysore City. The PHRII project manager, Dr. Vijaya Srinivas explains,

“We need to be able to generalize these results to the larger community. By randomly selecting our participants, we can make sure that the things we learn, more accurately represent the feelings of many parents”.

The study will be carried out in a broad cross-section of schools including government, semi-private, and private institutions. All of the school administrators have been extremely supportive of the project since students and parents all learn more about this major killer of women in India. Dr. Srinivas explains, “I can’t tell you how many parents have asked me where they can get the vaccine after they attend our educational meeting.”  She shakes her head. “I am looking forward to the day when we can say “Remember how many women used to die from cervical cancer? If we can beat a disease like this, we can do just about anything!”

PINCC to Carry Out Cervical Cancer Training

“It’s exciting” says Karl Krupp, former PHRII Program Director. “We’re building local capacity to increase cervical cancer screening and treatment here in Mysore.”

 

The training, which will be taking place in the Prerana Reproductive Health Clinic will be carried out as a collaboration between PHRII and Prevention International: No Cervical Cancer, a nonprofit focused on eradicating this deadly cancer.

 

Four local physicians will all attend this 18 month program. During the first phase, trainees will learn to screen for precancerous lesions. Follow-up trainings will focus on treatment using cryotherapy and Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP).

 

PINCC operates as a volunteer medical service organization. Their mission is to create sustainable programs that continue to serve the communities where they work.

 

“These physicians will continue to train others in these important techniques,” says Krupp. “This training will continue to have benefits that will last long after this particular training is done.”

 

 

International Leadership Award for Founder

Dr. Purnima Madhivanan, PHRI’s Executive Director has won the prestigious International Leadership Award 2007 from the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

 

Dr. Madhivanan was one of three awardees. The other awarded were Dr. Anneke C. Hesseling of Cape Town, South Africa; and Dr. Assan Jaye of Gambia.

 

The International Leadership Award (ILA) supports physicians and scientists working to prevent vertical transmission of HIV. The Award comes with three years of funding for projects focused on Pediatric AIDS. 

 

“This year’s recipients are accomplished and dedicated men and women whose work promises to make a real difference in the battle against pediatric AIDS,” said EGPAF President and CEO Pamela W. Barnes.

International Leadership Awardees for 2007 meet in South Africa to receive their award.