Nakuru County is targeting to vaccinate 43,000 girls of age 10 years in the ongoing nationwide vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV).
County Health CEC Dr.Gichuki Kariuki who spoke at Bondeni Maternity facility on Tuesday during the launch of the vaccine, it be administered to 10 years’ school girls in all the health facilities within the county.
The CEC while reiterating the importance of the HPV vaccine towards preventing cervical cancer, called on all parents and school heads to cooperate with the health officials during the exercise.
He also hit out at a section of religious leaders who have been opposing the vaccine based on their religious beliefs.According to CEC Kariuki, matters health should not be compromised with anyone’s religious beliefs.
“We all want healthy nation.HPV prevention is major stride in the fight against cervical cancer and that is why we are saying let us join hands in protecting our girls from cervical cancer” said Dr.Gichuki.
Sentiments echoed by Nakuru County Chief Officer for Public Health Dr.Samuel King’ori who lauded the move saying it will help in preventing cervical cancer that according to statistics continues to infect 14 million women every year across the world.
According to King’ori, all parents should embrace the vaccine that will also be ministered second round in April 2020 for the school girls of age 10 years.
“The vaccine will go a long way in preventing cervical cancer. The vaccine will be administered in all our facilities and we appeal to parents to support” said King’ori.
Nakuru County Chief Nursing Officer Ms Virginia Njenga on her part reiterating the need for parents to collaborate with health officials during the exercise.
She noted that as health officials they will not be able to reach out to all the school girls since schools are almost closing for the third term but parents have a responsibility to bring their 10 year old girls to various health facilities within the county where the vaccine will be administered.
“We might reach out to all the children since the schools are just about to close but we appeal to parents to assist us by bringing their 10 years old girls to the various health facilities” said Ms Njenga.
Others who addressed during the launch were Nakuru County Director for Medical services Dr.Benedict Osore,Ms Ruth Wangui form Education office and Bishop Wallace Mbugua from the National Council of Churches Kenya-NCCK.
All the speakers lauding the government for the move to have the HPV vaccine rolled out as a way of preventing cervical cancer that is highly associated with the HPV.
President Uhuru Kenyatta last Friday during the launch told religious leaders not to politicize the HPV vaccination and instead embrace it.
The HPV vaccine will be given to 10-year-old girls to prevent cervical cancer.The vaccination was initially opposed by the Catholic Church, who said it would negatively affect the targeted group.
Speaking during the launch at Ziwani Primary School in Mombasa on Friday, the President told the religious leaders that cancer does not discriminate according to religion.He urged them to be united to protect the young girls.
The vaccination drive targets at least 800, 000 10-year-old girls who will get two jabs, the second one after six months.The vaccine will be offered in public, private, faith-based and NGO health facilities at no charge.
HPV vaccination has been rolled out and embraced by 115 countries globally.
PHOTO/NGPU:Nakuru County CEC for Health Dr.Gichuki Kariuki administers a jab to a 10 year old girl at Bondeni maternity facility in Nakuru East during the launch of the of the vaccine for Nakuru County.