HPV vaccine rolls out in Mzimba to protect girls from cervical cancer

Written by  Franco Mwachande Jnr


Mzimba North District Health and Social Services (DHSS) has rolled out this year’s Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination to protect young girls from cervical cancer which is regarded as the deadliest disease to women in the country.

A jab of life: A nurse innoculates girls against cervival cancer. Pix by Franco Mwachande. A jab of life: A nurse innoculates girls against cervival cancer. Pix by Franco Mwachande.

Mzimba North DHSS spokesperson Lovemore Kawayi said that the vaccination exercise, taking place across the country, is mainly targeting girls aged 9 years to protect them from the disease in the future.


Kawayi added that girls who got vaccinated last year will also be getting their second and final dose of the vaccine and concerned parents have already been asked to sign consent letters for the exercise.


"Our aim behind is to make girls free from cervical cancer in the future, we're working hand in hand with various stakeholders to achieve our goal," said Kawayi.


He has since urged parents with 9-year-old girls to ensure that they get HPV vaccine to reduce their risk of getting infected with HPV and the risk of contracting cervical cancer.


The exercise is expected to run up to January 24.


Meanwhile in Mzuzu and Mzimba North, statistics indicate that out of 340 women that go for screening every month on average, about 20 of them are found to have early signs of cervical cancer and between 10 and 12 are found with advanced cervical cancer.


This has made Kuwala Health Media, a Mzuzu-based non-governmental organization to be engaged in public awareness, calling for early screening of the disease.


Dr Solomon Chomba, Chief Executive Officer for the organization, commends a cordial working relationship existing between government and other relevant stakeholders in the fight against cervical cancer in the country.


"Since starting our initiative in 2005, the feedback from people is always good and as of now a lot of women are able to recognize the disease and we our goal is by 2030 Malawi should register no cervical cancer cases."


In 2018 alone, Malawi registered 4,163 cases of cervical cancer among women and 2,879 of them died from the same, according to the Ministry of Health.

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