EPI Commence Human Papilloma Virus Vaccination for Girls aged 9-14
By Sheikh Manneh.
Expanded Program Immunization under the Ministry of Health with its partners World Health Organisation and UNICEF commences a Human Papilloma Virus vaccination for girls age 9 to 14.
According Report from the officials of Expanded Program Immunization stated that, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the main cause of cervical cancer which is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the cervix, which usually starts from the surface. It is the second most common cancer in women. Every year 569,847 new cases are diagnosed and over 311,365 are death.
In the Gambia the primary cause of cancer deaths among women accounts 32% of all cancer in women. These mean is in every 100, 32% are affected and 12% of prevalence of HPV infection in 2018.
Following the successfully 2 year demonstration project in West Coast Region, the HP vaccination has been introduced into the routine immunization which started in November 2019.
Speaking in a press briefing at the National Drug Store in Kotu Sidat Fofana Deputy Program Manager E.P.I said Human Papilloma Virus was first demonstration in Brikama West Coast Region which was very successful and now the government decided to introduce it because it is a disease that is affecting a lot girls and women in country.
Bakary Jargo the WHO rep said his office has put a position paper emphasizing the credibility and reliability of the vaccine, which is safe and of quality. When it is effectively use it can prevent cervical cancer at very early stage. We are not only thinking of preventing but the eradication of cervical cancer I the entire globe. He added.
Buya Jallow-Njie the UNICEF immunization officer UNICEF said part of the success registered in immunization in the country is due the strong partnership with the media and other partners.
“Yesterday I read an article on BBC that was talking about the boarding on cervical cancer. It stated that Senegal is the only country in West Africa to introduce the vaccine and I think we need to correct because Gambia has also introduce the vaccine as the second country in West Africa.”
According to research the sign and symptom of virus include: Long and heavier menstruation, bleeding menopause, bleeding during intercourse, fever weight loss, constipation among others.