GOVERNMENT has been urged to work closely with the apostolic sects if they are to have full coverage of the vaccination of 10-yearold girls against cervical cancer.
Speaking on the sidelines of the launch of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine in Beitbridge on Monday, community-based organisations said there was need to reach out to girls out of school so that they are also vaccinated.
Community Working Group on Health director Itai Rusike said the introduction of the cancer vaccine was a noble idea which should benefit all the girls.
“It’s a good programme (HPV vaccine), but we still need to identify those who still do not appreciate modern medicines,” Rusike said.
“There are still certain churches and religious grouping that do not allow their children to be vaccinated and let us continue to engage those so that we are able to cover all the girls despite their religious affiliation.”
He said some apostolic sects still do not allow their children to go to school and may not even allow them to be vaccinated.
Rusike said the government should also appreciate the role of the community so that they have ownership of the process.
“The bottom line is let it (government) also appreciate the role the community can do,” he said.
“Health is a peoples issue and as long as we involve the communities and the people, then it will get the full support of the general public and it can be successful because the communities will have ownership of the whole process.”
Women and Aids Support Network spokesperson Evince Mugumbate said government should work with the apostolic sects and engage its leaders.
“They (apostolic sects) should be in the structures. Government should be on the ground with these organisations,” she said.
The HPV vaccine for prevention of cervical cancer among girls under the age of 10 years was launched by Health and Child Care minister David Parirenyatwa.
Cervical cancer is the leading cancer in women which is caused by HPV which develops through sexual contact.