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Supporting the national HPV vaccination program in Cambodia

The National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS), in collaboration with the Clinton Health Access Initiative and other partners, has been supporting the rollout of the National Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination Program to nine-year-old girls in Cambodia. 

As part of this activity, ARIA members Dr Aditi Dey (Manager, Surveillance – NCIRS) and Dr Sarah Sheridan (Global Health Technical Lead – NCIRS) recently visited Cambodia to support in carrying out a survey of key in-country stakeholders to understand their initial experience of, and participation in, the HPV vaccination program.

During their visit, discussions were held with a wide range of program participants, including: 
•    the Cambodian Ministry of Health and National Immunization Program
•    the World Health Organization representative
•    school principals
•    healthcare workers
•    Operational District and Provincial Health Department Expanded Program on Immunization managers
•    village chiefs and community health workers. 

The focus of the survey was on understanding roles and responsibilities, program strengths and challenges, and recommendations for improvement.

Findings from this visit will inform an upcoming workshop to be held in Phnom Penh in March 2024, where all key stakeholders will discuss learnings from the initial rollout of the HPV vaccination program and potential improvements for the program as it continues. A second workshop, on introduction of HPV vaccine to multi-age cohort vaccinations, will be held soon after. Additional ARIA members Professor Julia Brotherton (University of Melbourne) and Professor Kristine Macartney (Director – NCIRS) are also contributing to this project. 

Participation in this work is funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in support of Cambodia’s Ministry of Health in the journey towards the eventual elimination of cervical cancer under the Global Cervical Cancer Elimination plan.