In partnership with the Mohammed VI University of Health Sciences (UM6SS) and with the support of MSD (Merck Sharp and Dohme), a cervical cancer awareness day was organized on Sunday, March 13 by the Moroccan Association of General Practitioners Sonographers (AMECHO). The objective was to make the medical profession aware of the importance of prevention, screening, and early treatment.
In Morocco, cervical cancer is a real public health problem, being the second most common cancer threatening women behind breast cancer, in terms of its frequency and mortality rate, as argued by the AMECHO in a press release, adding that the cancer prevention and control plan, drawn up by the Lalla Salma Foundation in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health, puts the prevention of cervical cancer in its priority actions. Indeed, the press release continues, the Ministry of Health has planned the introduction, in the national vaccination schedule, of the vaccine against HPV (Human Papillomavirus), the main cause of the development of precancerous and cancerous lesions of the cervix.
“We are organizing this day to raise awareness among healthcare professionals about cervical cancer, but above all about the importance of vaccination. Cancer of the cervix is today’s only cancer that can be avoided thanks to vaccination, it is, therefore, the most important weapon in the fight against this cancer, declared Doctor Abdellatif Achibet, president of the AMECHO. Access to this vaccine is possible in private and will soon be in the public, and we must all join our efforts to contribute to the elimination of this disease.”
For his part, Professor Chakib Nejjari, President of the UM6SS said he was “delighted to host this scientific event on the premises of the University and to raise awareness among the medical profession about cervical cancer. Our vocation in essence is to train and inform about news, the latest advances in our country, and progress in terms of prevention, screening, and management in general and specifically in the case of cervical cancer, since Morocco plans to integrate it into the vaccination schedule.”
For Jaafar Heikel, professor of medicine, epidemiologist, a specialist in infectious diseases and health economics, ” the data proves to us that in Morocco, its incidence is high compared to other countries in North Africa or to other countries with the same population profile. Today, we want to demonstrate the value of prevention, which saves lives but above all reduces the economic impact of cervical cancer”.