Malawi Health Equity Network MEHN has requested ministry of health to provide Malawians with detailed information regarding changes it has made on Human Papilloma or cervical cancer vaccine.
Executive director for MEHN George Jobe has said this following the ministry’s announcement that it has shifted the administration of the vaccine from June this year to January next year.
Jobe said the ministry was supposed to tell Malawians if shifting the vaccines would have no effect on lives of the girls.
He said doing so will help clear out questions and fear that people might have on the vaccine.
Ministry of Health disclosed that it had rescheduled Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) second dose vaccination from July 2019 to January 2020 due to logistical issues and change of proposed strategy.
In a communication to stakeholders Ministry of Health Expanded Program on Immunization EPI Program Manager, Temwa Mzengeza said the National Task Force Committee for HPV introduction has recommended the country to use school based approach once every year.
“EPI Sub Technical Working Group proposed that the provision of HPV second dose should start in the third week of July, using a routine immunization system in health facilities and outreach clinics to ensure sustainability of the services other than using the costly school based approach which requires over K300 million for allowances of vaccinators and teachers,” Mzengeza said
She said the National Task Force committee recommended that the country should be using the school based approach when conducting HPV vaccination once every year.
Mzengeza said taskforce expects that GAVI would be making required funds available to cover allowances for vaccinators and teachers.
She adds that “lessons from other countries shared by Global HPV technical experts show that introducing HPV vaccination in routine immunization system result into as low as 30 per cent coverage in both doses.”
WHO recommends that HPV vaccine should be given in two doses to 9 year old girls at minimum interval of six months.