Eritrea: A nationwide cervical cancer vaccination programme is in place

Date:

  • News by AUN News correspondent
  • Tuesday, November 22, 2022
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

Summary:

  • A nationwide immunization campaign against cervical cancer began on November 21. The Ministry of Health said that awareness-raising activities have been going on since September, when task groups were set up in 67 subzones.

  • According to the Ministry, the immunization program is being carried out at 1,382 schools.

  • More than 300 health facilities, 250 temporary centres, and 60 mobile facilities.

  • Three hundred thousand females between the ages of 9 and 14 will receive the vaccination.

  • Of the 560 thousand people diagnosed with cervical cancer worldwide, 275 pass away.

  • Cervical cancer is Africa’s second-leading cause of death and the fourth-leading cause of death worldwide.

Immunization Programs Targets Schools, Health Facilities, and Temporary Centers

The nationwide cervical cancer immunization program in Eritrea has strategically targeted various locations to ensure widespread coverage. The Ministry of Health has established 1,382 schools as vaccination centres, recognizing them as key points of access for reaching the target population of young girls. This approach leverages the existing infrastructure of educational institutions, making it convenient for girls to receive the vaccine during school hours.

In addition to schools, over 300 health facilities have been designated as vaccination centres. These facilities, including clinics and hospitals, play a vital role in providing healthcare services to the population. By incorporating cervical cancer vaccination into their services, the program aims to enhance accessibility and ensure that females seeking medical attention can also benefit from immunization.

To further expand access, the campaign has established 250 temporary centres across the country. These centres set up in various communities and public spaces, serve as additional vaccination sites. By bringing immunization services closer to the communities, the program addresses potential barriers such as distance and transportation, making it easier for families to participate.

Moreover, recognizing the need for flexibility and mobility, the campaign has deployed 60 mobile facilities. These facilities can reach remote areas and underserved communities, ensuring that even those in geographically isolated regions have access to the cervical cancer vaccine. Mobile facilities play a crucial role in reaching individuals who may have limited access to healthcare facilities due to their remote location.

By strategically targeting schools, health facilities, temporary centres, and mobile facilities, the program aims to maximize accessibility and reach a significant portion of the target population, ultimately reducing the incidence of cervical cancer in Eritrea.

Targeted Vaccination of Females Aged 9 to 14

The Ministry of Health in Eritrea has identified females between the ages of 9 and 14 as the primary target group for the cervical cancer vaccination campaign. This age range is critical because it allows for immunization before potential exposure to the human papillomavirus (HPV), the primary cause of cervical cancer.

By vaccinating girls at a young age, the program aims to provide long-term protection against the development of cervical cancer later in life. The immune response triggered by the vaccine at this age is expected to be highly effective, reducing the risk of HPV infection and subsequent cervical cancer.

Targeting girls between 9 and 14 years old also aligns with the global best practices recommended by organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO). These guidelines emphasize the importance of early vaccination to achieve optimal protection and long-term benefits against cervical cancer.

The program aims to vaccinate approximately 300,000 females within this target age group. By focusing on this specific population, the campaign aims to create a significant impact on the future incidence of cervical cancer in Eritrea. By providing widespread access to the vaccine for girls aged 9 to 14, the program aims to protect them from the devastating consequences of cervical cancer.  While contributing to improved health outcomes in the country.

Alarming Statistics and the Global Impact of Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer poses a significant health burden globally, with Africa being one of the most affected regions. As the second-leading cause of death among women in Africa, cervical cancer has profound implications for public health. It also ranks as the fourth-leading cause of death worldwide among women.

Each year, approximately 560,000 people are diagnosed with cervical cancer worldwide, highlighting the magnitude of the problem. Tragically, out of these cases, 275,000 individuals succumb to the disease. These statistics emphasize the urgent need for preventive measures, such as vaccination programs, to address the growing burden of cervical cancer.

The impact of cervical cancer goes beyond the loss of lives. The disease often leads to significant physical, emotional, and socioeconomic consequences for individuals and their families. By addressing cervical cancer through immunization, countries like Eritrea can reduce the prevalence of the disease and mitigate its devastating impact on communities.

The nationwide cervical cancer vaccination campaign in Eritrea acknowledges the global impact of the disease. It also aims to make a significant contribution to combating cervical cancer locally and globally. By prioritizing prevention and control efforts, Eritrea demonstrates its commitment to reducing the burden of cervical cancer and improving the well-being of its population.

Combating Cervical Cancer: A Priority for Eritrea

Eritrea has recognized the importance of combating cervical cancer as a key public health priority. By launching the nationwide immunization campaign, the country demonstrates its commitment to protecting the health and well-being of its citizens, particularly its female population.

Through a comprehensive strategy that includes awareness-raising activities and targeted vaccination efforts, Eritrea aims to address the multi-faceted challenges posed by cervical cancer. The awareness-raising activities conducted since September, including public campaigns, educational programs, and community engagement, play a crucial role in informing the population about the importance of cervical cancer prevention and the benefits of vaccination.

By integrating the immunization program into schools, health facilities, temporary centres, and mobile facilities, Eritrea ensures that the vaccine is easily accessible to all eligible girls. This approach maximizes the chances of reaching the target population and achieving high vaccination coverage.

The concerted efforts of the Ministry of Health, healthcare professionals, educators, and community leaders reflect the collaborative nature of the campaign. By working together, Eritrea aims to make significant progress in combating cervical cancer and reducing its impact on society.

Conclusion

The nationwide cervical cancer vaccination campaign in Eritrea demonstrates the country’s commitment to combating one of the leading causes of death among women globally. By strategically targeting schools, health facilities, and temporary centres, the program ensures widespread access to the vaccine. Focusing on girls aged 9 to 14, Eritrea aims to provide long-term protection against cervical cancer. By acknowledging the alarming statistics and global impact of the disease, Eritrea emphasizes the importance of prevention and control efforts. Through these initiatives, Eritrea aspires to create a healthier future for its citizens and contribute to the global fight against cervical cancer.

It is distributed by APO Group on behalf of the Ministry of Information, Eritrea.

APO has issued this press release. The editorial team of AUN News does not monitor the content, and none of the content has been checked or validated by our editors, proofreaders, or fact-checkers. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

Analysis by: Advocacy Unified Network

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