Kampala. The Ministry of Health will vaccinate girls aged between nine and 13 across the country next year to prevent cervical cancer, Dr Gernald Mutungi, the programme manager non-communicable diseases, said yesterday.
According to the Uganda Cancer Registry, 40 per cent of cancer deaths are caused by cervical cancer. Uganda has one of the highest cervical cancer rates in the world with 36,000 women diagnosed positive every year and about 2,500 dying from the disease.
Speaking at a national stakeholder meeting held in Kampala to assess the progress of the Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Initiative (CCPTI), Dr Mutungi said: “Next year around April, we are starting a HPV vaccination campaign of all girls to ensure they are safe from the human papillomavirus (HPV) which is the sole cause of cervical cancer.” He added that they also need to build capacity for health centres to enable proper screening of the cancer. “Cervical cancer is a killer disease which can be treated once detected earlier through screening,” Dr Mutungi noted.
Under-servedAccording to Dr Milton Awudo of Marie Stopes Uganda (MSU), CCPTI is a four-year programme that was launched in February 2013 in Sheema District specifically focusing on the most underserved regions in the country.
“The project targets women aged 30-49 years because they are most at risk of contracting cervical cancer as it spreads through sexual intercourse,” Dr Awudo said, adding that the country is still challenged by lack of radiotherapy machines used for high level treatment.
The seminar Dr Mbonye said the three-day family planning conference will be carried out under the theme ‘Accelerating social and economic transformation through universal access to voluntary family planning’. The conference will seek to address family planning as a way of improving maternal health and other reproductive health services.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor