The second phase of administering HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer in women is expected to roll out in November after a successful phase in September this year.
The exercise, which was introduced by the Ministry of Health (MOH), targeted girls between the ages of 9-13 in Zomba and Rumphi districts, and received tremendous response, according to the Ministry’s spokesperson, Henry Chimbali.
Chimbali said the target was to provide the vaccine to approximately 4 450 girls in Rumphi and about 2 500 girls in Zomba.
“The first demonstration we received a good and encouraging response such that we reached approximately 80 percent of the girls in Zomba and 91 percent in Rumphi. But we are yet to consolidate all the response rates later on,” he said.
Cervical cancer is the commonest cancer in women, accounting for 45 percent of all cancer cases.
Early detected cervical cancer can be cured by removing or destroying the precancerous or cancerous tissue and this can be done through freezing of the abnormal cells at very low temperatures and the cervix heals over a period of time; or by removal of abnormal tissue using a special surgical technique and laser therapy which is the removal of abnormal tissue by using an electrical current to burn them.
The services are available in some district and central hospitals.