Health experts yesterday began a review of results of a pilot vaccination programme that symbolises government’s efforts in the fight against cervical cancer.
The experts are meeting at the Bingu International Conference Centre in Lilongwe to review the results of a two-year Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Pilot Vaccination Programme that was launched in Zomba Urban and Rumphi District.
The programme is targeting adolescent girls, with a view of providing them with health interventions that can protect and promote their health in both the short and long-term contexts.
Opening the meeting, Ministry of Health principal secretary Chris Kang’ombe said government has made cancer control a priority in all its strategies that fight the disease, which is counterproductive to national development, as it affects economically productive people within the age bracket of 15 to 59.
“I believe a lot of lessons have been learnt throughout the first year of implementation. We can build on the lessons to plan for a second year of the HPV vaccine demonstration programme, as well as thinking towards a possibility of rolling out the HPV programme beyond the two districts,” Kang’ombe said.
In his remarks, the World Health Organisation representative in Malawi, Dr. Eugene Nyarko, commended the government for its determination to fight cervical cancer by implementing the programme.
“I urge you to give this review exercise your utmost attention so that we come up with actionable recommendations that will facilitate the implementation of the next steps in this project and ultimately reinforce our cervical cancer prevention and control efforts,” he stated.