Prof. Faustin Kamuzora, The Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS) has appointed for intensive efforts to ensure that no woman or girl dies from cervical cancer.
He emphasized the importance of screening for early detection of cervical cancer which can be treated and urged parents and guardians not to miss out on the great opportunity of having their children immunized.
He reassured the public that the vaccine was safe and approved by the government and WHO and would be provided free of charge at all health facilities.
Prof Kamuzora, however, noted that to date, the regional vaccination average against cervical cancer was far below the national average set at 80% with the regional average ranging between 53 -64%.
Five screening centers were set up in Bukoba Municipal Council- Buhembe, Kashai, Rwamishenye, Bukoba Referral Regional hospital, and Zamzam.
At the regional level, 64 centers would provide the service. Tanzania achieved a historical milestone to roll out a Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine against cancer of the cervix.
A safe and effective Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine when provided to young girls between 9 and 14 years old, protects them against HPV and cervical cancer.
The Vice-President, Ms. Samia Suluhu Hassan, launched the programme last year and emphasized the importance of screening for early detection of cervical cancer which can be treated.
“The first beneficiaries of this vaccine would be girls aged 14 as we prepare to extend the vaccination to the rest of the girls. In order to get the girls to return for their second dose requires new routine delivery services and a good social deployment strategy,” she said.
The government’s assurance to reach the vaccination target of 616,734 girls, she acknowledged.
She commended the government’s decision to introduce the HPV vaccine in the country aimed at reducing mortality and morbidity caused by cervical cancer.
She congratulated the government for making a high-level decision and commitment towards the reduction of preventable childhood illnesses and deaths.
“This is an important milestone in the history of Tanzania, to join the fight along with other countries in the world to prevent mortality and morbidity due to cervical cancer. To achieve the full benefit of the HPV vaccine, it must be given to all targeted children regardless of where they live or how hard they are to reach.