GOVERNMENT plans to introduce a two-year-long human papilloma virus vaccination programme for girls between the ages of nine and 13 years to prevent cervical cancer.
BY SENIOR PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER
This was disclosed by Health and Child Care ministry director of family health Bernard Madzima during a health workshop organised by Health Reporters’ Association and the Tanyaradzwa Cancer Trust in Harare yesterday.
Madzima said the pilot vaccination programme will first target girls in Beitbridge and Seke districts before it spreads to other parts of the country.
“As a ministry, we have developed a broad national cancer strategy where we said the most important thing is prevention and early detection of cancers,” Madzima said.
“We will embark on a vaccination programme targeting nine to 13-year-old girls starting in April where the human papilloma virus vaccine will be administered to girls in Beitbridge and Seke.”
Madzima said the ministry would also introduce screening of the cervix using ordinary vinegar at the mouth of the womb for women on anti-retroviral treatment at all provincial hospitals.
“We want to avoid a situation where they take ARVs, but after two years they are diagnosed again with cervical cancer. We are not only going to screen, but also offer them treatment,” he said.