Kilifi County Government has announced plans to vaccinate at least 24, 000 girls against the dreaded human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes cervical cancer.
The Kilifi Health Executive, Dr. Anisa Omar said the campaign would target girls aged 12 years and below, who were assumed to be sexually inactive, with a view to preventing the risk of cervical cancer among girls.
“We shall soon launch a door to door vaccination campaign against HPV, targeting girls aged 12 years and below in a bid to stem the rising cases of cervical cancer infections,” Dr. Omar said during the launching of the construction of the Mkaomoto Dispensary in Gander Ward, Malindi Sub County.
She explained that the vaccines would protect the beneficiaries from contracting HPV types 16 and 18, which were said to pose the greatest risk of infection.
She also announced that another round of polio vaccinations would be rolled out in the county in the month of October targeting children aged less than five years, noting that a similar exercise was carried out last July.
The executive assured residents that the Kilifi County Government was committed to improving access and quality of healthcare in the county by increasing the number of health facilities and provision of medicines among others.
“The Mkaomoto Dispensary, which we are commissioning today, is part of a greater plan by the county government to make health services accessible and affordable to our people,” she said during the event that was also attended by Deputy Governor, Gideon Saburi and County Secretary, Arnold Mkare among others.
She said that the number of health facilities in the county had increased from 65 before devolution to 160 while the number of health staff had increased from 1, 000 to 1, 700.
She said there were plans to upgrade health centres in Bamba, Jibana, Rabai, Marafa to Level Four status with a view to improving the quality of services.
The county executive said the Mkaomoto Dispensary would serve a population of 8, 600 people, and that it would offer services such as deliveries, family planning, vaccinations as well as the usual treatment of ailments.
The function almost turned chaotic when youths allied to former Ganda Ward Member of County Assembly, Abdulrahman Omar Mohamed accused the organizers of introducing politics at the event.
Voters in Ganda Ward will on October 17 go to the polls following the nullification of Mr. Omar’s victory.
Omar, who had won on an Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party ticket, is seeking re-election as an independent candidate and would face it out with Reuben Mwambire Katana (ODM), David Mitsanze (Kadu Asili) and Joseph Ngumbao Kiponda (Jubilee).
By Emmanuel Masha