Ondoa Announces Compulsory Cervical Cancer Vaccination Exercise


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website like this geneva;”>Ondoa told press on Tuesday in Kampala the Ministry of Health with support from its partners Merck, Sharp and Dohme (MSD) Company, Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB) will launch this new program aimed at prevention of Cervical Cancer among women of reproductive age on Thursday in Oyam district in Northern Uganda at Anyeke Primary School.

The HPV vaccine, GARDASIL is being donated by Merck/MSD, the company responsible for the manufacture of the vaccine.

Ondoa said the vaccine is safe and effective and is approved for use in more than 125 countries and more than 95 million doses have been distributed worldwide.

The minister said MOH, through this new programme, will vaccinate all girls in Primary Four irrespective of their age and also all 10 year old girls who are not in school will be vaccinated as well against the disease.

“From 2014 onwards, all girls aged 9 to 13 years will be vaccinated as recommended by World Health Organization,” she said.

According to Colleen McGuffin, the Vice President of Merck Vaccines, the vaccination programme will be implemented with 460,000 doses of GARDASIL donated to 12 districts in Uganda over a two year period, enough to vaccinate approximately 140,000 eligible girls.

“The launch of this program in Uganda is another important step in helping to support our goal of reducing the incidence of cervical cancer around the world, and particularly in sub-Saharan Africa where the burden of cervical cancer is significant,” said Colleen McGuffin.

According Ondoa, the twelve districts were selected for this pilot based on their good performance in routine immunization and also to ensure regional balance.

The twelve districts are Bududa, Busia, Kamwenge, Katakwi, Kayunga, Isingiro, Mityana, Rukungiri, Nebbi, Oyam, Ntungamo and Lira.

She said that currently Uganda has a population of 7.32 million women of reproductive age, 15 years and older who are at a risk of developing cervical cancer and is the most common form of cancer affecting Ugandan women.

“3,577 women are diagnosed with Cervical Cancer and about 2,464 die from the disease which is the most preventable kind of cancer worldwide. This is hurting,” said Christine Ondoa.

Dr. Anthony Mbonye Commissioner for Community Health who was also present at the press conference said that each child will require three dozes to be free from the disease. “The first doze will be in September, Second in November and the Third in April next year,” he said.

He added this is not the first time HPV vaccine has been introduced in Uganda because they had successful demonstrations in the two districts of Ibanda and Nakasongola.

The minister concluded by appealing to parents to ensure that their children are vaccinated against this preventable disease and to all medical workers to work diligently and administer the right doses to the children.


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