100 girls from Cummings Lodge Secondary benefitted from HPV vaccine

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, March 08, 2018

A total of one hundred girls, ages nine to fourteen, from the Cummings Lodge Secondary, were among those immunised with the first dose of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.

Dr. Saska Sertimer, Head Doctor at the Industry Health Centre.

The vaccines were administered by nurses and doctors attached to the Industry Health Centre. Head of the centre, Dr. Saska Sertimer noted the schools’ vaccination campaign began in January 2018, with the distribution of consent forms at the Cummings Lodge Secondary.

“We are responsible for ensuring that our schools in the area (Grahams Hall Primary and the Cummings Lodge Secondary are covered with the HPV Vaccine”, Dr. Sertimer said.

She explained that from a total of 140 school girls, approximately 100, between the ages of 11-14 at Cummings Lodge Secondary were vaccinated. However, Dr. Sertimer explained that despite the positive response, many parents were still unaware of the benefits of the HPV vaccine; hence the resistance to give consent. She noted they were told the vaccine would lead to infertility, among other myths.

Dr. Sertimer disclosed nurses stationed at the health facility will soon meet with the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) of the school, to sensitise stakeholders  on the HPV vaccine’s benefits.

The Industry Health Centre is still awaiting a date from the Graham’s Hall Primary School to administer the HPV vaccines to its students. The school’s PTA has already benefitted from a sensitisation session by health workers.

The HPV campaign is part of the Ministry of Public Health’s plan to control the number of cervical cancer cases.  The campaign aims to target girls between the ages of nine to 16 years, and the end goal is to achieve ninety percent coverage of at least 36,000 girls across Guyana. The HPV vaccine is said to be the most effective way of preventing cervical cancer and offers lifelong protection.


By: Crystal Stoll


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