COJ fighting virus

Examples of the warts caused by the HPV virus

The City of Johannesburg’s Health Department, together with the Gauteng Department of Health, will be continuing with a campaign to provide the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine to school-going girls. The campaign, which started in 2014, has been undertaken annually under the theme: ‘Protecting South African Girls against Cancer of the Cervix’.

The vaccine is administered in a schedule of two doses at six-monthly intervals, targeting young girls in Grade 4 who are nine years old in all public schools, including special schools.

The first dose (HPV1) was administered in February and March. This year’s HPV1 campaign will also include deworming. The second dose (HPV2) will be administered from 22 August to 27 September.

The purpose of this intervention is to prevent cervical cancer and also to protect learners against worm infestations. Almost 80 per cent of cervical cancers are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). The virus can infect the genital area and cause genital warts or cervical and other cancers. The vaccination prevents the virus from developing on the cervix.

“The City of Johannesburg’s Department of Health officials will visit public and special education schools during the campaign to administer free HPV vaccination to girls in Grade 4. According to the National Cancer Registry, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women in South Africa, and as the City we are committed to ensuring that our young girls receive the care they deserve, in order to prevent cervical cancer,” said Councillor Mpho Phalatse, the Member of the Mayoral Committee for Health and Social Development in the City of Johannesburg.

Educators, supported by professional nurses, will administer the deworming medication to learners from Grades R to 7.

“Parents need to ensure that they have signed and returned the consent forms which they will receive from the school that their child attends. No learner will be vaccinated without parental consent”, said Dr Mary Daka, the Deputy Director for Public Health in the City of Johannesburg.

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For free daily local news on the West Rand, also visit our sister newspaper websites Randfontein HeraldKrugersdorp News and Get It Joburg West Magazine

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Sonwabile Antonie

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