However, only 21,292 girls of the 92,000 returned for the second dose of vaccine meaning that over 7000 girls didnt show up. Ayub Madoi, the Mbale District Assistant Health Officer, says for maximum protection each girl is supposed to receive 2 doses.
Mbale district is lagging behind in administering the second phase of the Human Papilloma Virus vaccine-HPV. The HPV vaccine is administered to 10 year old girls to prevent the virus that causes cervical cancer. Government rolled out the HPV vaccination campaign countrywide in November last year giving 2 doses in a period of six months.
Cervical cancer is the most common cancer among women in Uganda contributing 80%. The campaign targets girls both in school and those outside school. By December last year, Mbale district had vaccinated more than 92,000 girls representing 131% of the targeted girls.
However, only 21,292 girls of the 92,000 returned for the second dose of vaccine meaning that over 7000 girls didn't show up. Ayub Madoi, the Mbale District Assistant Health Officer, says for maximum protection each girl is supposed to receive 2 doses.
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He also notes that the negative attitude of some people and lack of awareness about HPV has affected the vaccination campaign. Sam Paddy Khauka, the Mbale District Inspector of Schools attributes the poor performance of the second phase of the vaccine to mobility of people from one place to another.
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He also called for sensitisation of parents, saying some of them stopped their daughters from getting the second phase claiming that the vaccination will make their daughters infertile.
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Mafabi Michael, the Mbale Health and Education Secretary, blames the low turn up in the second phase of the vaccination campaign on lack of follow-up from the health center focal persons.
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The officials were speaking at Mbale District headquarters during a sensitization meeting for Health Center for HPV Vaccine focal persons.
Kirinya Ayubu is the URN Bureau Chief of Elgon/Bukedi Sub Regions . He holds a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communication from Islamic University in Uganda and a Diploma in Computer Science and Information Technology from the same University.