By Tolit Ivan and Ajok Diana
Parents in Gulu are yet to embrace the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine that reduces one’s likelihood of acquiring cervical cancer by 95 per cent.
The HPV is a cancer-causing virus sexually transmitted by men stoppable by vaccination.
Girls between 10 and 13 years are vaccinated. Data from the health ministry shows that a high number of people take the first dose of the vaccine but only a small fraction return.
For Gulu, it stands at 51% for the first dose and 45% for the second dose. Statistics from the Ministry of health also indicate a drop in the update of the drugs in the past three years (2016-2018). It is estimated that 115 per cent of children got the first dose of the vaccine in 2018 but only 47 per cent returned for the second dose.
Gulu acting district health officer Okilangole Jenny Rose Akello attributed the drop to the misconception by some parents that it has negative consequences on reproduction health of the recipients. As a result, the Health Ministry has introduced school immunization registers with the aim of improving completion rates.