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Tanzania to begin nationwide cancer vaccination exercise

The Director of Research and Cancer Screening Department of the Ocean Road Cancer Institute, Dr Crispin Kahesa has disclosed plans by the ORCI to embark on a countrywide vaccination programme targeting girls aged between 9 and 12 years.The aim of the exercise is to combat the virus causing the disease.

Kahesa was speaking at a press conference in Dar-es-Salaam on Tuesday, referring to a World Health Organisation (WHO) estimate which suggests that approximately 21,000 new cancer patients were discovered in Tanzania by 2002.

He said about 32.5 percent of all deaths due to cancer occur among people below the age of 60.

According to him, the public needs to change lifestyles by engaging in physical exercises, eating habits and regular health check-ups.

“If one is diagnosed with cancer while at an early stage, they get cured, but it is unfortunate that many go to hospital while the diseases has reached the last stages, thus leading to death” Kahesa explained.

He said that vaccinating the girls will help in fighting the virus despite the fact that it was an expensive kind of immunization.

He noted that the response has improved as many people now go for check-ups to know their health status as compared to previous years mostly attributed by awareness campaigns by various stakeholders.

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