Multi ARIA, Deadly and Golden Guitar award winner, Troy Cassar Daley is urging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents to take advantage of the free National HPV Vaccination Program currently being rolled out for young people in schools across Australia.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a common virus that affects young men and women. It can cause genital warts, cervical cancer and other cancers in women, and HPV-related cancers and genital warts in men. Vaccination against HPV can help protect young people from developing these cancers and disease later in life.
Young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women aged between 12 and 13 years can take part in a national, free school-based vaccination program to protect against HPV, and also the catch up program for young men aged 14-15 years.
Troy believes that modern medicine has its place alongside traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healing, and that where modern medicine can be used to prevent disease, it should be taken up by communities.
“My grandmother had a saying that if you didn’t have your health, you don’t have much at all. If we can prevent cancers and disease, we should take the medicine. We should use medicine as an advantage. We have a chance to make sure our kids are covered,” he says.
Troy believes it’s important that parents make the time to find out all they can about the free National HPV Vaccination Program.
“Parents and guardians need to give their consent for their kids to have the vaccine. We have to understand that the vaccine helps protect the future health of our kids and, as a parent, you want your kids to have that protection.”
“I’m calling out to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents and guardians to consider the HPV vaccination. As Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, we have a big history with preventable diseases. Hopefully, parents will think seriously about what can happen if their kids aren’t vaccinated.”
“It’s also important that kids complete the full course of three doses for full protection (if a dose has been missed parents can talk to the school, GP or health clinic).”
The free HPV vaccine is available through schools, and will also be available through community health clinics in some remote areas. If a child’s education is not school-based (such as for those undertaking online studies), parents and guardians can contact their local health department for advice on where to get the vaccine.
Parents and guardians can find more information on the HPV vaccination website australia.gov.au/hpv where they can find specific resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including information in language.