Posts or Comments 23 May 2024

HPV &Vaccine Bill Brieger | 15 Mar 2023 10:43 pm

Malawi Experiences HPV vaccination Shortages as Registration Increases Among Adolescents Girls

By Jordan Kerr and originally posted in the Social and Behavioral Foundations of Primary Health Care Blog.

Malawi is making strides in increasing HPV vaccinations among adolescent girls across the nation. Since the official implementation of the HPV vaccine program in 2019, 20 out of the 29 districts in Malawi have begun administering the vaccine to adolescent girls between the age of 9 and 14. Despite this success, Malawi continues to be one of the leading countries worldwide in cervical cancer-related mortality. New cases of cervical cancer in Malawi are reported at a rate five times higher than the global average.

This highly preventable disease places a more significant burden on low-income countries like Malawi due to poor access to healthcare services and resources. International agencies are improving their outreach efforts to reach girls not enrolled in school and address vaccine hesitancy in districts with higher vaccine refusal rates. Due to this outreach vaccine registration is improving however healthcare facilities are experiencing stockouts. In some districts, healthcare facilities are reporting that the main reason individuals are not receiving vaccinations is that they are running out of vaccine stocks.

The World Health Organization (WHO) set a goal in 2018 to eliminate cervical cancer by increasing HPV vaccination uptake globally. This initiative has shown to be successful in addressing disparities in low- and middle-income countries however, in 2020 an HPV vaccination shortage began and is expected to continue through 2025.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) presents several strategies that can be used to address this shortage to keep on track with the goal to eliminate cervical cancer. Efforts must be taken to support facilities developing the HPV vaccine to ensure stockouts do not continue. We need policymakers to lobby for policies that increase funding for vaccination development and establish priority vaccination allocations to countries like Malawi that are experiencing high mortality rates from cervical cancer

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