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Page last updated at 16:13 GMT, Thursday, 26 March 2009

Jade Goody health legacy 'to last'

Jade Goody
Jade Goody lost her battle with cervical cancer

Reality television star Jade Goody's public battle with cervical cancer will have a lasting impact on health policy, teenagers are suggesting.

Girls at Heathfield School in Middlesex are among those who piloted a new cervical cancer vaccine for 12 and 13-year-old girls.

It has proved controversial because some believe it encourages girls to become sexually active at a younger age.

But the student journalists' investigation, for School Report Day, found most girls believed the health benefits outweigh the risks.

Some who had had the vaccine and who were questioned for the report said Jade Goody had raised awareness hugely and her death would have a lasting influence on awareness of cervical cancer.

The cervical cancer vaccine was piloted at a number of schools, and it is being rolled out across England and Wales, at a cost of up to £100m per year.

Fourteen-year-old Krithi, who helped make the television report, said pupils thought the vaccine was very important.

"If we can afford it, there should be free tests and healthcare," she said.

"Girls we spoke to were really sorry that Jade died from cervical cancer, but her death will have a lasting influence.

"However, along with free tests should come a change in attitude and education surrounding the risks."


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