Gippsland top performer in immunisation

A REPORT released last week confirms Gippsland is one of the best performing regions in Australia for immunisation against the human papillomavirus (HPV) in girls.

The National Health Performance Authority report Healthy Communities: HPV immunisation rates for girls in 2013 shows 87 per cent of girls in Gippsland who turned 15 years in 2013 were fully immunised against HPV.

This is well above the national average of 72 per cent.

Gippsland Primary Health Network board chair Nola Maxfield said Gippsland had the second highest immunisation rate for Primary Health Network regions across Australia.

“Human papillomavirus is a highly contagious virus known to cause cervical cancer,” Dr Maxfield said.

“It is estimated that four out of five people will have a HPV infection at some point in their lives.

“The positive results we achieve in immunisation for Gippsland are directly linked to the dedication and commitment of our health professionals, and health promotion activities in our region.”

The school-based national HPV vaccination program was introduced in 2007 for adolescent girls to protect against cervical cancer and other HPV-related diseases.

In January 2013, the Federal Government extended the program to include boys to ensure equitable access to the vaccine.

Primary Health Networks have been established by the government with key objectives of increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of medical services for patients, particularly those at risk of poor health outcomes, and improving coordination of care of patients.