Prof. Dr. Thomas Iftner, Director of University Clinic, Tuebingen (UKT), Germany, expressed his views while delivering a lecture in the scientific session of the three-day IPVS Satellite Symposium on “Human Papillomavirus and Cervical Cancer,” held in the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS) at Karachi University.
“Awareness of commoners about Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer is imperative to reduce the risk of the fatality of cancer in Pakistan. The screening of papillomavirus is the secondary prophylaxis against cervical cancer,” he said.
Although the country has no nationwide statistics of cancer patients, in 2022, some 28,000 women died of cervical cancer.
Scientists from as many as 14 countries participated in the international symposium, organized by Dr. Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research (PCMD). Scientists hailing from Germany, Belgium, USA, UK, Iran, Sweden, Indonesia, China, Cameron, Greece, Jordan, Nepal, Kazakhstan, and Sudan participated in the symposium.
Dr. Thomas underlined the importance of launching awareness programs for the education of Pakistani people and said that the uneducated individuals linked cancer to unrelated causes and myths like black magic and fate. Such awareness programs must aim to inform the public about risk factors, prevention, early detection, and treatment of cervical cancer. The world has millions of people chronically infected with a number of viruses, he said, adding that oncogenic viruses are the leading causes of human cancers.
Dr. Ni Nyoman Tri Puspaningsih, Vice-Rector for Research, Innovation and Community Development Universitas Airlangga in Indonesia, in her lecture, discussed the prevalence of COVID-19. She said, “WHO dashboard of Coronavirus has reported over 600 million confirmed cases globally, including 6.5 million deaths.”
Prof. Dr. Christian Betzel, Head of Laboratory for Structural Biology of Infection and Inflammation University Hamburg in Germany, lamented that humanity is facing an increasing health threat caused by a variety of multidrug-resistant bacteria, parasites, and in parallel by already well-known and more recent also via emerging viruses, such as Coronavirus. COVID-19 is truly devastating and causing, during the last two years, extremely high numbers of infections and even death, Prof. Betzel added.