The ongoing campaign against the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is being undermined by irresponsible journalism. At least this is according to information released by the Ministry of Public Health which is conducting the campaign with support from its technical partner – the Pan American Health Organisation.
In a public statement, the Ministry sought to debunk rumours being peddled about the campaign which it said are helping to spread panic in the society. The Ministry was at the time making reference to what it described as recent “false reports of children being rushed for medical attention at the New Amsterdam Hospital in Region Six.”
Based on its own investigation, the Ministry said that it was able to uncover hospital medical records which contradicted such reports. In fact, it said that in one instance the HPV vaccine was blamed for adverse reaction in a male child when the record showed that the patient in question was administered a vaccine that should have been given earlier in his life.
“It is also not true that the Ministry is administering expired vaccines. These malicious rumours must stop now,” the Ministry cautioned, even as it added that, “the HPV vaccines are managed according to the protocols the Ministry follows to handle other drugs, medicines and medical supplies [that is first in, first out].” As such, it was revealed that the Ministry currently has vaccines of various shelf lives extending to the year 2020.
“We will, by our guiding protocols, administer the ones with the closest expiry date first, and the ones with longer shelf lives later,” the Ministry noted as it pointed out that this process of HPV vaccination is part of the national immunisation programme and will continue to be a part of its National Vaccination Schedule offered to every Guyanese child.
As such the Ministry said that it views the administration of this vaccine as a basic human right for citizens to access. For this reason, the Ministry said that it is calling on parents who have maintained faith in its service and demand the accustomed high standard of service delivery. “To our skeptics we assure you that we will continue working hard to win and in some instances, regain, your trust,” the Ministry added.