Home » Health » Vaccine Set to Benefit 9 000 Girls

ABOUT 9 000 girls aged 10-years-old from two districts in the country will receive an anti-cervical cancer vaccine under a 20-month pilot project.

At a Press conference on the sidelines of the human papilloma virus (HPV) training of health workers in Harare yesterday, Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Paul Chimedza said vaccinations would start on May 19 in Beitbridge and Marondera.

Dr Chimedza said 4 441 girls were earmarked to receive the vaccine in 2014, and another 4 490 in 2015. The girls are to complete a course of three vaccinations over a six-month period.

Dr Chimedza said thereafter, depending on the results, Government would rollout a national programme targeting all girls aged nine and 10-years-old.

“The goal of HPV vaccination is to lead to a reduction in cervical cancer deaths, and improvement in the health and lives of women for generations to come. He said the two pilot districts were chosen because of previous successes in vaccinations there.

Dr Chimedza said, “Learning derived from the 2014 and 2015 rounds of vaccination in the two districts will be used to inform the national roll-out of the vaccination programme scheduled for 2016.”

The initial roll-out of the vaccine is funded by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations.

Cancer expert Professor Mike Chirenje applauded Government for trying out the anti-cancer vaccine. He said cervical cancer is the most common type of cancer in women and one of the leading causes of deaths in women living with HIV.

Source : The Herald