Sources reveal that actor Poonam Pandey is in discussions with the Union Health Ministry to potentially become the brand ambassador for the government’s national campaign aimed at spreading awareness about cervical cancer. The modalities of this collaboration are currently under deliberation.
This development follows a recent incident where news of Poonam Pandey’s supposed demise due to cervical cancer made headlines, sparking widespread discussion on social media. It was later revealed to be a staged event orchestrated by the actor and her team to raise awareness about the critical issue of cervical cancer.
In a video shared on her official Instagram page on February 3, Poonam Pandey affirmed her well-being and highlighted the urgency of addressing cervical cancer. She emphasized the importance of early detection and prevention methods such as the HPV vaccine, urging women to equip themselves with essential knowledge to combat the disease.
Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had previously announced in her interim budget speech the government’s intention to promote vaccination among girls aged 9-14 to prevent cervical cancer. The Union health ministry has been closely monitoring the incidence of cervical cancer nationwide and is in regular communication with state health departments on this matter.
In June 2022, the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization recommended the inclusion of the HPV vaccine in universal immunization, targeting adolescent girls aged 9-14. Despite being home to about 16% of the world’s women, India accounts for a disproportionate share of cervical cancer cases and deaths globally.
Recent estimates indicate that nearly 80,000 women in India are diagnosed with cervical cancer annually, resulting in approximately 35,000 deaths. Currently, vaccines such as CERVAVAC from the Serum Institute and Gardasil 4 from MSD Pharmaceuticals are available in India to combat cervical cancer, albeit at varying price points.
Poonam Pandey’s potential role as the face of the government’s cervical cancer awareness campaign signifies a significant step towards combating this disease and promoting preventive measures among women across the country.