'Want to see HPV vaccine incorporated into national immunisation protocol': Dr Tanaya Narendra

Her Instagram channel has over a million followers


Dr Tanaya Narendra

health influencer, author and medical education enthusiast, Prayagraj (Uttar Pradesh)

Dr Tanaya Narendra is an internationally trained doctor, author, embryologist, and scientist. An elected fellow of the prestigious Royal Society for Public Health, Narendra was the Health Influencer of the Year 2022 by the International Health and Wellbeing (IHW) Council, supported by the NITI Aayog and Ayushman Bharat. Through her channel, dr_cuterus―which has over one million followers on Instagram and over 50 million views on YouTube―she explains complex medical and sexual education topics with relatable and hilarious examples and jargon-free language. Narendra is also the author of the best-seller, Everything Nobody Tells You About Your Body.

The change I would like to see

I want to see the HPV vaccine incorporated into the national immunisation protocol. HPV is a group of viruses that are known to cause a sexually transmitted infection, which can sometimes progress into cervical cancer, which is the most common cancer in rural Indian women and the second-most common cancer in urban Indian women. It is diagnosed so late that India has the highest rate of deaths from cervical cancer in the world. The HPV vaccine is very effective, but is expensive and inaccessible to most of the country. So, I wish to see this included as a part of the national immunisation protocol.

Secondly, I wish to see sex education included as part of the national curriculum for students of all ages. This is important as we need to understand our bodies a little better―particularly sexual, reproductive and menstrual health. This is a conversation that is seriously lacking in our country.

As told to Nirmal Jovial