NESI in collaboration with Universitas Padjadjaran (UNPAD) and the Indonesian Pediatric Society (IPS) organised a workshop on “Supporting HPV vaccine Introduction in the Asian Region” from 18 to 20 November 2019 in Bandung, Indonesia. The workshop received support from the Ministry of Health Indonesia.
The workshop explored the current status of HPV vaccine introduction in the SEARO and WPRO Region, gaps in information about HPV diseases burden, optimal communication and delivery strategies for the introduction of HPV vaccine and the role of NITAGs in decision making process for the introduction of new vaccines. The workshop comprised of interactive presentations, round table discussions, country presentations, including sharing of experiences and best practices.
The key target groups included representatives of: Expanded Programme on Immunisation, National Immunisation Technical Advisory Groups (NITAGs), Adolescent Health Programme, Non-communicable Disease Programme, School Health Programme, National and International immunisation partners and other stakeholders.
The objectives of the workshop included:
- To discuss the burden of HPV related diseases, especially cervical cancer, in the SEARO and WPRO Region.
- To discuss the available HPV vaccines and their use in national immunisation programme.
- To discuss potential adolescent health interventions to be delivered alongside HPV vaccination.
- To discuss optimal communication strategies for the introduction of HPV vaccination.
- To exchange lessons learnt and best practices regarding HPV vaccine introduction among participating countries.
- To strengthen national teams of experts in the participating countries to make evidence-based recommendations and decisions to support and advocate for the introduction of HPV vaccination.
- To strengthen the international community to further stimulate discussion and research on cervical cancer, HPV vaccination and adolescent health.
The workshop was attended by 84 delegates, including participants, facilitators and observers. Nominated delegates were from the Ministry of Health and NITAG members from Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Lao DPR, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. Other participants came from Academia, Research Institutes/Centers, National and International Organisations and industry. Facilitators were from: UNPAD, IPS, Indonesian Society of Gynaecologic Oncology (INASGO), MoH Indonesia, NITAG Indonesia, WHO/Indonesia, WHO/WPRO, NESI/University of Antwerp, IARC/WHO, WHO/India, MoH Oman, NITAG Australia and University of Pretoria, South Africa.
Presentations highlighted key aspects on burden of cancer caused by HPV, cervical cancer screening, update on HPV vaccine and cost effectiveness, delivery strategy for HPV vaccination, role of advocacy communication and social mobilization for building public trust in HPV vaccination and monitoring as well as evaluation of HPV vaccination programme. In addition, the role of NITAGs in decision making process for HPV vaccine introduction was also emphasized. Experiences of HPV vaccine introduction from the regions were shared by the delegates from Australia, Malaysia, Bhutan, Malaysia and Sri Lanka. Moreover, participants from all the participating countries shared the status of HPV vaccination program in the respective countries along with potential challenges and opportunities for the national introduction of the HPV vaccine.
The round table discussion explored on how to overcome hurdles for HPV vaccine introduction and cervical cancer screening, focusing on socio-economic and cultural challenges. The countries who had already introduced the HPV vaccination programme successfully in the region shared their experiences and lesson learnt which was followed by interactive plenary discussion.
All the presentations and background documents were shared with the participants through password protected link. The workshop as well as the topics covered were highly appreciated by all the delegates. The participants requested for an annual meeting to update them about the recent recommendations and support the decision making about HPV vaccine introduction.