FIRST Lady Dr Christine Kaseba has expressed concern that parents have continued to stop their children from receiving the HPV vaccine despite being sensitised about it.
Dr Kaseba has since called for concerted efforts and increased awareness in supporting the HPV vaccine which was introduced in Zambia in 2013 to fight cervical cancer.
She said plans were underway to roll out the HPV vaccine countrywide by 2015.
“Women are the cornerstone of every society on this earth. It is for this reason that we are gathered here today for such a noble cause, to fight for women’s health. We need to introduce the HPV vaccine to save lives,” she said.
Dr Kaseba said this at the HPV dissemination meeting held at Pamodzi yesterday.
She said Zambia was fortunate to have the HPV vaccine and called for an integrated approach that encompassed family planning, cervical cancer screening and HIV prevention efforts.
Zambia was targeting to vaccinate 50,000 girls by 2015 to save them from cervical cancer.
Dr Kaseba said it was sad that Zambia had continued to have the second highest rate of cervical cancer in the world, yet the disease was preventable.
She was, however, happy that treatment of cervical cancer had greatly improved in Zambia with the opening of the cancer diseases hospital and for the first time, radiotherapy had been made available to the community.
Dr Kaseba further called for more knowledge dissemination on issues of the HPV vaccine for the benefit of the citizenry.
She said the dissemination of information on HPV would foster more partnerships in curbing cervical cancer.
She said it was important to curb cervical cancer as it contributed to the deaths of women in their productive years.
She called for increased political will and mobilisation and pledged to continue to assist all projects aimed at improving the lives of women and children.
Earlier, Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health Permanent Secretary, Elywn Chomba called for the re-introduction of routine immunisations for all children in Zambia.