Cervical cancer is one of the top 10 most commonly seen cancers in Hong Kong and was ranked 7th in 2015. According to the Hong Kong Cancer Registry of the Hospital Authority, there were 500 cases of cervical cancer in 2015, which was an increase of 5.9% from 2014. This includes women in the 20-29 age bracket and the situation bears close examination. Even though the Department of Health promoted a “Cervical Cancer Screening Programme” all over Hong Kong in 2004, the evidence shows that the number of applicants is low, with last year seeing less than 1% of all women in Hong Kong applying for such screening. This shows that there is insufficient education on early detection of cervical cancer among Hong Kong women and therefore have ignored the habit of regular screenings.
From 2010 to now, DAB Women Affairs Committee (“the Committee”) has always been concerned with cervical cancer prevention and therefore have proactively promoted free cervical cancer vaccine. In late 2016 we successfully apply the Community Care Fund to provide free cervical cancer vaccine to young women from low-income families. The Fund has also implemented a three-year scheme to provide free or subsidized cervical cancer screening for eligible low-income women at the end of last year.
Last year from late November to early December the Committee held a telephone survey with 547 eligible women to understand their awareness and acceptance of cervical cancer vaccine. The survey showed that nearly 70% of women would consider taking the cervical cancer vaccine themselves and to encourage their daughters to do so, but they felt that the cervical cancer vaccine is too expensive and hope that the government would help sponsor it. Nearly 90% of respondents approved of the government providing free cervical cancer vaccine injections to girls in the relevant age group.
Therefore we hope to promote free cervical cancer vaccine injections to all young women and girls of Hong Kong. At the same time, we ask the government to promote cervical screening and provide free regular screenings for all women of Hong Kong while strengthen women’s health education.