On Wednesday 10th July, NOMAN were invited to the European CanCer Organisation (ECCO) and HPV Action joint roundtable title, ‘Eliminating HPV in Europe’.
The objectives of this event were to bring together the principal stakeholders, such as patient communities and healthcare professionals, to review the progress made in the fight against HPV in the EU, and identify means of opportunities of how stakeholders could collaborate on shared goals. In addition, attendees considered some potential resolutions on HPV elimination that might be taken to the ECCO European Cancer Summit in September 2019.
This meet was incredibly timely following the official announcement on 9th July that boys in the UK would begin receiving the HPV vaccination from September 2019.
HPV is a very live issue in Europe. Around 53,000 cases of cancer are caused annually by the virus in 31 European countries. Whilst all EU countries now offer HPV vaccination to girls, most countries in the EU do not currently, or plan to, offer HPV vaccination to boys. 11 countries in Europe currently practice gender neutral HPV vaccination.
Speakers included Dr Sinisa Varga, the former Health Minister of Croatia who introduced gender neutral HPV vaccination, and the President of the ‘Croatian Parliamentarians against Cancer’ initiative, Renata Brandtnevora the ED of ESGO who discussed professionals and patients working together, in addition to Richard Price, the EU Policy Affairs Director for ECCO on the opportunity for HPV resolutions as part of the European Cancer Summit. NOMAN Director, David Winterflood, also addressed the stakeholders on the story of HPV Action in the UK, and the lessons that could be shared from the successful campaign to secure jabs for the boys in the United Kingdom.
Discussions were made around opportunities to bring a campaign to eliminate HPV-related cancers in Europe could take shape with further discussions to take place through a working group over the Summer.
One thing’s for certain. There is great appetite to build on the success we have had in UK and to build on the momentum through a campaign on the continent to eliminate HPV-related disease. Watch this space.