HPV vaccination programme to be launched next week

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The Ministry of Community Development Mother and Child Health has not yet started administering the HPV vaccine against cervical cancer on girls between the 10 and 13 years.


The programme of vaccinating the girls was initially scheduled to start in the first week of this month.


Permanent Secretary in the ministry Kalesha Masumbu said the programme will be administered in selected districts in Lusaka.


Dr. Masumbu told ZANIS that the public would be informed in due course as to when the exercise would commence.


And head of cervical cancer prevention programme in Zambia Sharon Kapambwe also confirmed that the pilot project has not yet commenced.


Dr. Kapambwe disclosed that the commencement of the HPV vaccine pilot project will be launched next week.


Two months ago, Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health Joseph Katema disclosed that a total of 50,000 young girls are expected to be vaccinated with the HPV vaccine during the cervical cancer national pilot project.


Dr. Katema said the introduction of the HPV vaccine in three districts of Lusaka was a sure sign of how serious government and its cooperating partners were to end one of the major causes of deaths among women in the country.


He disclosed that the three districts that will benefit are Lusaka, Chongwe and Kafue.


He said the vaccine will be administered to young girls who are not yet exposed to HPV infection.


Dr. Katema explained that the first phase of the HPV vaccine will be given to school going children of 10 years adding that for girls that were not in school, the target was those aged between 10 and 13 years.