Ministry of Health and Social Services is hard at work to make HPV vaccine available at public health facilities: President

WINDHOEK: The Ministry of Health and Social Services is hard at work to make the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine available at all public health facilities in the country, President Hifikepunye Pohamba said yesterday.

He made this announcement during the opening of the three-day 8th Stop Cervical, Breast, and Prostate Cancer in Africa Conference in the capital.

The conference is organised by the Office of the First Lady under the theme ‘Moving Forward to end cervical cancer by 2030: Universal Access to Cervical Cancer Prevention’.

HPV is a deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) virus from the papillomavirus family which is capable of infecting humans. It establishes productive infections in keratinocytes of the skin or mucous membranes.

Pohamba said this is their comprehensive cervical cancer prevention and control plan, which also includes screening and immediate treatment for pre-cancer as well as referrals for further diagnosis and treatment in all cases where necessary.

He said all Namibian health facilities have been capacitated to provide health education for women on self-breast examinations, adding that mothers are also encouraged to breastfeed for six months exclusively, as a means of reducing the incidences of breast cancer.

The president noted that mammography and other diagnostic services to detect cancer among women and men are also available at all health facilities.