#Guyana, April 30, 2018 – Minister of Public Health Volda Lawrence has reiterated that the myths and misconceptions of the Human Papilloma Virus vaccine must be put aside since administering the injection is the key to preventing the disease. The Public Health Minister was speaking at the closing ceremony for Vaccination Week-Guyana on April 27 in Moco Moco village, Region Nine.
“It had been recognised that myths and other misconceptions of the HPV vaccines are being peddled. This is hampering successful implementations and efficacy of the vaccine… Let us put aside the myths and the stories and get our girls immunised… because when cancer comes, no myth or story can help them. Then, parents are crying, families depressed, everybody is looking for a miracle. The only miracle available at the moment in Guyana is the HPV Vaccine,” the minister said.
“We have the responsibility to protect our children especially our girls…we have the right and the responsibility to ensure that they are vaccinated living a healthy life without cancer,” she added.
Since 2017, the vaccination has again been made available free of charge at all public health facilities, for administered to all girls between the ages of 9 to 13 upon their parents’ approval.
UNICEF, country Representative, Paolo Marchi also supported the minister’s call for the public to be more open to the vaccination including against HPV. He commended the Maternal and Child Health Department of the Ministryfor the robust work being undertaken to ensure there 100 percent vaccination coverage.
This is the 16th year Ministry of Public Health is collaborating with PAHO/WHO to host Vaccination Week in Guyana. This year, as part the weeklong celebration, the Ministry chose to highlight its vaccination services countrywide especially to far-flung communities, particularly those near borders.
By: Delicia Haynes (DPI Guyana)
HPV vaccine is an inactivated (not live) vaccine which protects against four major types of HPV. These include two types that cause about 70% of cervical cancer and two types that cause about 90% of genital warts. The vaccine is routinely recommended for girls 9 and 13 years of age.
From April 21-28, 2018, the Region of the Americas celebrated the 16th Vaccination Week in the Americas (VWA) campaign with a soccer theme in honor of the 2018 World Cup. The campaign slogan “Strengthen your defense! #GetVax #VaccinesWork” linked strengthening defense on the soccer team with strengthening the body’s defense to vaccine-preventable diseases through vaccination.
Vaccination Week in the Americas was proposed by the health ministers of countries in the Andean region as part of a response to measles outbreak in Venezuela and Colombia in 2002. Since its official launch in 2003 more than 720 million people of all ages have been vaccinated against a wide range of diseases such as measles, rubella, yellow fever, diphtheria, tetanus, polio, and influenza.