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​BDA Northern Ireland repeats call for urgent action on HPV vaccine

14 November 2018


Pictured left to right: Gerry McElwee, Cancer Focus Northern Ireland, Tristen Kelso, BDA Northern Ireland National Director and Gillian Prue, Queens University Belfast.

The urgent need to introduce the Human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine for local boys was the BDA Northern Ireland’s overarching ask at the Cancer Focus Northern Ireland’s annual Men’s Health recent conference.

Health professionals from all over Northern Ireland attended the conference in Antrim, which focused on the theme of inequality for men and boys. 

The timing of the conference was chosen to coincide with Mouth Cancer Action Month.

Speaking at the event, Dr Gerry McKenna, Chair of the BDA Northern Ireland Hospital Group said: 

We’ve seen a rise in the number of mouth and throat cancer cases in recent years, while the number of cases looks set to double by 2035. Major risk factors of mouth cancer are tobacco use and drinking alcohol and a number are related to HPV exposure – cases which would be easily prevented by the introduction of this important vaccine to boys”.

The importance of increasing public awareness of the signs and symptoms of oral cancer, as well as attending the dentist regularly to ensure early detection of any diseases of the mouth were reinforced at the conference by Dr McKenna.  

BDA Northern Ireland and our partners, Cancer Focus Northern Ireland, Queens University Belfast, Men’s Health Forum Ireland and the HPV Coalition, have written to the Department of Health and political representatives, calling for boys to receive the same protection against HPV as their counterparts in England, Scotland and Wales. 

BDA Northern Ireland

BDA Northern Ireland supports, represents and promotes, the interests of all dentists working in Northern Ireland. 

Working with elected committee members, we negotiate on behalf of the profession on terms and conditions, pay and contracts, and on improving oral health for patients

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