We noticed this cheeky little comment by the Throat Cancer Foundation (TCF) yesterday and thought we’d share it with you. TCF is campaigning for boys to be vaccinated against the HPV virus that causes some cancers. Girls are already vaccinated against HPV but boys are not.
This is a good example of how we put less time, energy and money into tackling cancer in men than women as we outlined in our recent post male cancer campaigns on the rise.
So when someone at TCF noticed that the Welsh government spent £1 million on vaccinating badgers last year they were prompted to quip:
“So, there are grants available to vaccinate badgers but we still do not vaccinate boys against HPV? Now, TCF have nothing against badgers and are all for vaccinating as opposed culling the badger but surely we have to vaccinate boys to protect against cancer as a priority too!!”
It would seem that offering boys the vaccination against HPV (as now happens in Australia) would be in line with the UN International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).
The Covenant recognises the “right to health” of everyone which means “the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health”. Member states are expected to protect this right by taking specific steps to improve the health of their citizens and ensuring that everyone within their jurisdiction has access to the underlying determinants of health which includes a comprehensive system of healthcare, which is available to everyone without discrimination, and economically accessible to all. The Covenant also resognises the “right to cultural life” which includes the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress.
You can find out more about the HPV vaccination for boys campaign at the Throat Cancer Foundation website.
If you’ve got a view on vaccinating boys (or badgers) or you’re interested in any other men’s issues then why not join us for this years 3rd National Conference for Men and Boys.