Ministry of Health and Population Servcces will embark on Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine from January 2019 to all nine year-old girlsacross the country to prevent them from cervical cancer.
Chief of Health Services in theMinistry of Health and Population Services, Dr. Charles Mwansambo made the disclosure on Wednesday on the sidelines of Mass Drug Administration (MDA) review meeting in Mangochi.
He bemoaned high prevalence rate of cervical cancer among women in the country saying the country has the highest rate of the condition globally.
“It is our wish to reach out to all girls aged nine with the help of health and school authorities who are currently finalizing data collection to ascertain the exact number of girls we are planning to reach out to,” Mwansambo pointed out.
He added that government would be implementing the vaccine with financial support from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
The Chief noted that the demonstration campaigns have already been conducted and that it has been established that vaccinating girls at the age of nine before they engage in sexual activities limits chances of suffering from cervical cancer.
Commenting on the MDA being administered to learners between the ages five and 15 in all schools and community institutions across the country, Mwansambo commended all stakeholders for their support in fighting bilharzia.
“The Mass Drug Administration could not be successful without the commitment of teachers and medical personnel who put all their efforts together to achieve the desired results,” he added.
Programmes Officer for Health and Environment for Education Emergencies in the Ministry of Education, Science andTechnology, Maxwell Dzikanyanga also hailed the MDA exercise and the results achieved.
“We are happy that learners have been protected from diseases such as bilharzia commonly known as Likodzo and tape worms commonly known as Njokazam’mimba; these diseases when left unattended would disturb our learners’ education,” he said.
Dzikanyanga bemoaned the conduct of some parents who restrain their children from accessing drugs at school due to religious beliefs and customs.
He condemned the conduct and warned communities against it, saying government would do all it can to protectchildren and all people in Malawi from any disease.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :