Monrovia – Liberia has launched two new vaccines as part of effort to strengthen its immunization program. The Human Pappilayma and the Rota Vaccines were launched Monday at programs marking World Malaria Day held in Ganta, Nimba County.
The HPV is basically meant to prevent cancer in the womb of girls in and out of school who are ten years of age. Only two dozes of the HPV will give them a life time protection against womb cancer.
The HPV will only be administered to the girls’ population in Nimba and Bong Counties for now, owing to the quantity received and the school enrolment population of those two counties. Later, it will be extended to other parts of the country.
For the Rota vaccine, it is nationwide and will only be administered to children less than one year basically to protect them against diarrhoea, which is one of the two leading causes of maternal and child mortality.
The launching ceremony of these two new vaccines was performed by Former Health minister, Dr. Peter Coleman and a, member of the Health Committee.
The Guest Speaker at the World Malaria Day Program integrated with the African vaccination Week, Nimba County representative Larry Younquoi, emphasized a stronger political will to improve and reform Liberia’s Health Sector.
Representative Younquoi called for increased budgetary support to the Ministry of Health in its effort at tackling those life threatening diseases. He promised to lobby with his colleagues on Capitol Hill to secure a budgetary increment for the MOH.
During the program, WHO Representative to Liberia, Dr. Alex Gasasira read two messages—one on behalf of WHO Regional Director for Africa and another in his own name.
The two messages highlighted progress that has been made in immunization in the region over the last decade. The statements named the progress as an increase of the coverage of the 3rd dose of Diphtheria-Tetanus Pertussis vaccine from 52 percent in 2000 to 77 percent in 2014, the decline in measles death by 86 percent during the same period and acceleration of the introduction of new vaccines.
For his part, Liberia’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Frances Kateh, also recounted achievements made in reducing the country’s malaria burden.
He named the use of insecticide Treated Nets as one major strategy to battling the illness. Dr. Kateh said successes in the fight against Malaria can be attributed to political commitment and increased investment in effective interventions, new born and child health.