Girls in 10-13 age group to receive vaccination against Cervix Cancer under special Campaign

Girls in 10-13 age group to receive vaccination against Cervix Cancer under spec

All school going girls between the age of 10 and 13 will be vaccinated against cervix cancer under a nationwide campaign in Uganda this year.

The campaign, estimated to cost about $1.34m, will be rolled out in October in continuation of the pilot program that was conducted in 14 districts in 2010, Dr. Robert Mayanja, the UNEPI programme manager, said on Tuesday.

He said the campaign is presently targeting the girls between the age of 10 to 13 years because they believe that they are not yet sexually active and, therefore, are not yet exposed to the virus.

The campaign was finalized during a press breakfast meeting at the Kampala Serena Hotel on Tuesday that was organized by the health ministry in partnership with Merck, a non-profit organization based in North America.

Cervical cancer is still one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers among women between 15 and 44 years in Uganda. It is estimated that about 3,915 women are diagnosed with the virus every year, and nearly 2,275 women die of the disease per year.

The campaign aims to sensitize the media on immunization services in Uganda as part of the activities to mark the World Immunization Week.

Dr. Mayanja said presently they are mapping schools and once the task is done, they will move on to second phase where they will hand over to schools the schedule when they will bring pupils for vaccination at health facilities and outreaches.

"We want every girl (between 10 and 13 years) to receive this vaccine. Where we don't have health facilities we are setting up outreach centers", he said.

Dr. Mayanja said it will be wholly the responsibility of the school to ensure that all their primary four girls go to these centers for vaccination.

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