Rumphi District Hospital Female Extended Programme of Immunisation (Fepi) coordinator Astrida Moyo has appealed to young girls to abstain from sex to avoid cervical cancer.
In an interview yesterday, she said they conducted preventive vaccination campaign early this year targeting girls aged nine years in primary schools in the district.
“We registered 6 000 girls but 3 000 were vaccinated.
“We started giving vaccines to girls in rural schools. The ones who have not received are from urban schools,” said Moyo.
However, she noted that figures expected to receive the vaccine were inflated due to poor mapping in identifying age, pointing out that some parents do not give exact age of their children.
“The vaccination did not cover everyone due to some challenges, including shortage of drugs,” said Moyo.
Rumphi district health officer Stephen Macheso said during the 2019 screening some women were suspected of carrying the virus that causes the disease.
“However, we encourage women to go for screening and get treatment when suspected of carrying the virus,” he said.
Maggie Harawa, a mother group chairperson at Mhuju, said screening helps women know their cervical cancer status.
“When the disease is detected early, it gets cured but when it is detected late, there is no cure,” she said.