Deaths from cervical cancer will double in the Middle East and North Africa in 2035, when the conservative nation not vaccinated young women, and will struggle with sexual taboos, according to a study released on Wednesday.
Tunisian Center for Public Health, advocacy group, urged governments in the region to vaccinate against human papillomavirus (HPV) that causes cervical cancer, and increase screening for women in order to save lives.
"People are not aware of the danger," - said the founder of the center Zeid Mhirsi.
"People do not know that there is a vaccine. Women's health issues are not a priority in the region at the political level."
Cervical cancer is the second most deadly cancer among women in the region, said the center, predicting 19,000 deaths in 2035, compared with about 9,000 in 2012.
HPV is one of the most common diseases, sexually transmitted diseases. Most infections cause no symptoms and go away on their own, but the virus is the leading cause of death from cancer among women worldwide.
Mhirsi said that the discussion of infections, sexually transmitted diseases such as HPV, can be "taboo" in conservative Muslim societies such as Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
But Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates has established itself a regional leader, leaving students free vaccine for the past 10 years, he said.
Morocco has suffered more over 2,000 deaths from cervical cancer occur each year, he said.