By Ireen Mseteka and George Mponda MANA

President Lazarus Chakwera has called on girls aged from nine to 14 to get Human Pappilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine to prevent cervical cancer.

Chakwera was speaking Tuesday at Madimba Ground in Likoma District during the commemoration of National Community Health Day (NCHD) where he also re-launched HPV, Tipewe Cholera and Covid-19 campaigns.

Chakwera, who was visiting the district for the first time since his ascension to presidency, said Malawi now has a life-saving vaccine that provides primary prevention of cervical cancer.

“This vaccine is available for free in all public and Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM) health facilities for girls between the ages of 9 and 14 and it is administered once in one’s lifetime.

“I therefore ask all mothers and caregivers to support these young girls to get vaccinated. It is in the interest of my government to foster development and health for all people of all ages regardless of age, race, ethnicity or religion to ensure that we build a better Malawi with healthy people,” said Chakwera.

The President then implored development partners to continue supporting government in its community health agenda for the country to attain the national and international health goals and targets.

“I would like to thank Unicef, World Health Organisation, United States Agency for International Development, The Global Fund, GAVI, Lastmile Health, Mother2Mother, Embassy of Iceland, Japanese International Tobacco, and the private sector players for the continued support to government in the implementation of community health services in the country,” Chakwera explained.

Whilst on the Island, the President and First Lady Monica Chakwera appreciated some development projects which included Likoma Solar Power Plant, Chima Out-Patient Department at Chima Health Centre and Likoma Port, which are under construction.

In her remarks, United Nations Resident Coordinator for Malawi, Rebecca Adda Dontoh, reassured UN’s commitment to quality health service delivery and human rights protection.

During the event, World Bicycle Relief donated 20 bicycles to Likoma District Council for health surveillance assistants on Likoma and Chizumulu Islands.

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