Group pushes for HPV vax for underprivileged girls, women

Doing good: (From left) O’Dell, Liam president Raymond Lew, Dzulkefly, NCSM president Dr Saunthari Somasundram, Health director-general Dr Muhammad Radzi Abu Hassan and Health deputy director-general for public health Dr Norhayati Rusli at the World Cancer Day Celebration.

MELAKA: The Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (Liam) has donated RM3mil towards the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination drive to vaccinate underprivileged girls and women nationwide.

Liam’s chief executive officer Mark O’Dell said 16 members from the association have collectively agreed to play their role in making sure that the life-saving jab reaches the targeted group throughout the country.

“Our members didn’t hesitate on the idea to contribute towards eliminating cervical cancer when it was first mooted where RM3mil was donated to the National Cancer Society Malaysia’s (NCSM) recently.

“I firmly believe that Liam will be able to help stakeholders’ goal of reaching a higher percentage of HPV vaccination with our commitment,” he said in an interview here yesterday.

O’Dell said he also hopes that Malaysia will be able to achieve a powerful impact to eradicate the ailment in the next few years similar to the target set by Australia on ensuring zero cervical cancer by 2028.

He added that Liam will also work closely with NCSM to ensure the deserving girls throughout the country are inoculated.

“We are not going to stop our efforts by just contributing the money, but will also work hand in hand with NSCM to achieve the desired elimination threshold.

“Our initiative aimed to support the Malaysian healthcare system by mitigating the risk of cervical cancer, which ranks as the third most prevalent cancer among women in Malaysia,” he said.

The HPV inoculation programme is presently being organised across the country by NCSM working closely with 222 Members of Parliament, government agencies and local NGOs to identify women and teenagers from underprivileged communities.

O’Dell said Liam’s financial contribution to NCSM is also in conjunction with the association’s 50th anniversary.

He said Liam’s pledge to NCSM was also witnessed by Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad at the World Cancer Day celebration held at Cyberjaya University on Feb 17.

O’Dell said the financial contribution towards the HPV vaccination is also a meaningful corporate social responsibility (CSR) aspect for Liam as it is significant in helping to save lives.

“We have been involved in CSR programmes, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic and the efforts to reach the grassroots will be continued,” he added.

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