Some stakeholders in the fight against cancer have hailed Ministry of Health and Population for scaling up the Cervical Cancer Vaccine administration which guards against Human Papilloma Virus.
The Ministry, on Thursday launched the national roll out of HPV vaccine which will be given to girls aged nine in two doses, a move which is in line with World Health Organization recommendation.
In an interview with the Malawi News Agency (Mana) on Friday, one of the organisations, Cancer Survivors Quest (CSQ) Chairman, Chikumbutso Ng’ombe said the program brings smiles knowing that it will reduce the risk of cervical cancer in the future youth generation.
“As Cancer Survivors Quest we welcome the introduction of the HPV vaccination by Ministry of Health, we have been carefully following the pilot project.
“And for the program to begin, it brings smiles to our faces as patients and survivors alike knowing that this will reduce the risk of cervical cancer in the youthful generation,” said Ng’ombe.
Ng’ombe however, reiterated the need for lifestyle change as it is the first line of prevention of cancers.
“As much as this reduces the risk of HPV, people should still pay attention to the many more factors that need to be addressed like diet and lowered immunity through HIV among others,” added Ng’ombe.
Founder for Hope for Cancer Foundation, Brandina Kondowe also commended the Ministry saying that the vaccine has given them a tool as they embark on cancer awareness campaigns.
“Hope for Cancer Foundation promotes preventative measures in the fight against cancer. And one of them is educating the public on the importance of early detection of cancers.
“However, we are happy that we now have a prevention tool as we embark on our cancer awareness campaigns.
“This is a positive development and very encouraging. The HPV vaccine is a preventative measure or tool in the efforts to reduce occurrence of cancer and it will definitely have an impact by reducing cervical cancer cases,” said Kondowe.
Kondowe added that the vaccine will also result in saving valuable lives of women in the country’s communities.
According to Principal Secretary for Health and Population, Dr Dan Namarika, the first dose of the vaccine will be given on first contact and the second one after six months.
“The vaccine will be provided in all public health facilities, CHAM, some private health facilities, all under five clinics and private schools,” said Namarika.