HARARE-The Zimbabwe Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) has so far vaccinated 759,454 or about 85 per cent of girls aged between nine and 14 years throughout the country against Human Papillomavirus (HPV) in a bid to reduce the spread of cervical cancer.
The Ministry worked with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education (MOPSE) to achieve the figure, which had initially been set at 888,826 girls, says its Director for Epidemiology and Disease Control, Dr Portia Manangazira.
She told a media during the HPV Vaccine Feedback event last Friday that collaboration with the MOPSE made the exercise successful and was very commendable. School-based approach managed to reach majority of the girls with the HPV vaccine and attained a high coverage. Country achieved 85 per cent (759,454) of the set target," she added.
Manangazira said the HPV support of development partners also enabled the roll-out campaign to be successful. She said bad roads and child marriages were the main challenges they encountered in trying to reach all the young girls in rural areas for vaccination.
"Rains, bad roads and poor terrain during the campaign disrupted the vaccination programme in some rural areas. Also nonacceptance of the vaccine by some parents due to their religion and some school policies
requiring parental consent," she said.
She said the HPV vaccination roll-out would continue next week until every young girl was reached to reduce the spread of cervical cancer in the country. We continue with vaccinations until 18 June 2018 to mop up and make sure all young girls are vaccinated with the HPV to eliminate cervical cancer."
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK