All women are prone to Human Papillomavirus (HPV), a virus that causes cervical cancer.
Speaking at a one-day workshop held in Letlhakeng to equip health workers in the area on HPV, the District Health Management Team (DHMT) medical superintendent for Letlhakeng Sub-district, Dr Terrence Mokuhwa said the virus is the leading cause of cancer deaths in Botswana.
He explained that they intend to embark on the second face of vaccinating young girls aged between nine and 13 against the virus thus lowering the risk of getting cervical cancer and other related diseases.
“These young girls are our cohort because they are not yet actively involved in sexual intercourse. HPV is sexually transmitted, so we intend to prevent the chances before they start anything” said Dr Mokuhwa.
However he said the vaccination does not cure the disease as there is no medication that can permanently heal it. For her part the DHMT pharmacy technician Ms Keneilwe Rreotsile said the vaccine is not a protection against sexually transmitted infections or a cure for existing HPV infections.
She said most of their target audience are school girls and that they will visit schools to notify the relevant authorities. She also said their campaign will also include the out of school girl child.
Ms Rreotsile said that anyone who has not been exposed to the diseases will benefit from the vaccine and be protected from targeted HPV infection including those people with HIVAIDS as long as it is within their delimitation.
The main aim of the workshop was to equip health workers on how to deal with HPV and share ideas on community sensation and mobilisation.
Source : BOPA
Source : Botswana Daily News