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HPV Action for Romania

On May 25th, 2023, in Bucharest, the ReThinkHPVaccination Project and its partners, the Renasterea Foundation and the Centre for Innovation in Medicine, joined hands with other Romanian organizations during the HPV Action Romania Stakeholders Meeting. This event, organized by the European Cancer Organization at the headquarters of the Romanian Football Federation, aimed to address the low rate of HPV vaccination in the country.

To tackle this issue, Acțiunea HPV România (HPV Action Romania) has outlined its strategy as follows:

  • Sharing and spreading the best research findings and information.
  • Engaging with politicians, government officials, and policymakers.
  • Collaborating with various civil society and professional groups.
  • Utilizing media, social media, and influencers.

According to data from the European Cancer Organization, Romania is falling behind many European countries in the fight against cancers caused by HPV. Despite a slow and steady increase since 2018, HPV vaccination rates in the country remain far below the European Union's 2030 target of 90%. Additionally, a limited number of women undergo cervical cancer screening, resulting in higher incidence and mortality rates for HPV-related cancers.

Furthermore, the Romanian Ministry of Health has recently revealed its plan to make the HPV vaccine accessible through pharmacies, with the option of obtaining it through a medical prescription. This service will be provided at no cost for girls under the age of 18 and will be partially reimbursed for women aged 18 and older, as well as for boys. Presently, the HPV vaccine is offered without charge exclusively to girls under 18, requiring parents to navigate a bureaucratic process by submitting a request through their family doctor. Because of this turnover, the HPV Action for Romania initiative faces new challenges in defining its objectives.

In response to this challenge, Acțiunea HPV România (HPV Action Romania) has launched a comprehensive campaign. The campaign's objectives are as follows:

  • Implement routine gender-neutral HPV vaccination for all 11-18-year-olds, achieving 90% coverage by 2030.
  • Establish a national cervical cancer screening program based on HPV testing, including self-sampling for hard-to-reach groups, with 70% of women screened by age 35 and again by age 45, to be achieved by 2030.
  • Conduct a sustained public awareness campaign to promote understanding of HPV, vaccination, and screening.

Acțiunea HPV România (HPV Action Romania) aims to achieve its goals by sharing and promoting the best research evidence and successful vaccination programs from other EU member countries. The initiative also seeks to engage with politicians, government officials, and policymakers, collaborate with relevant civil society and professional organizations, and leverage media, social media, and influencers. Their collective efforts are directed toward urgently needed improvements in addressing HPV-related health challenges.

For more information on the ReThink HPVaccination project, please visit our social media platforms on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.
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