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Health Ministry to roll out “aggressive programmes” to boost HPV vaccine uptake

Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony at a donation handing over ceremony on Friday [Photo: Ministry of Health/ March 8, 2024]

With a low vaccination rate in Guyana, Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony has highlighted the urgent need to boost the uptake of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in the country to combat cervical cancer.

As such, he said his Ministry would be rolling out “aggressive programmes” to boost coverage throughout the country.

“We have in our hands the means of eliminating cervical cancer from Guyana, and that is to really use the HPV vaccines,” the Health Minister said at a donation handing-over ceremony on Friday.

“Unfortunately, our coverage for HPV vaccination is still relatively low. One of the things we want to do this year, is to have an aggressive programme where we can roll out HPV vaccination.”

Dr. Anthony said that as part of the aggressive programmes, all health centres in the country would be able to administer the vaccine.

Children between the ages of nine and 15, including boys and girls, as well as those aged 16 to 45, can take the jab.

“We, in Guyana, would like to move our vaccination rate to close to 90%. So, if we are able to accomplish that and sustain that, then we will be on our way to eliminating Cervical cancer in Guyana.”

In addition to increasing vaccination rates, Dr. Anthony said the aim is to screen 70% of women eligible for the vaccine.

While the country has facilities for Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid (VIA) and Pap Smear tests, utilisation rates have been suboptimal.

To this end, the Health Minister urged the public to take advantage of these screening services so as to improve usage rates across the country.



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