DAR-ES-SALAAM, The Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Ummy Mwalimu, has assured Tanzanians that the Ministry is looking forward to providing cervical cancer vaccination beginning in April, next year.

Speaking on her ministry's performance during a special programme aired by the Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC), she said the Ministry had already submitted a request for a permit from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) to begin the vaccination programme next year.

The vaccination is expected to be administered to girls aged between nine and 13 years, who are sexually inactive, to safeguard them from the disease. We are looking forward to start administering vaccination to girls aged between nine and 13 years. If everything goes as planned, the exercise will start in April, next year, added Mwalimu.

Earlier, the Director of Preventive Services at the Ministry, Dr Neema Rusibamayila, said the government was working to see the possibilities of introducing the Human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine nationwide between next year and 2019.

Tanzania is among countries which benefit from GAVI's support to carryout HPV vaccine demonstration programmes aiming at rolling out the immunisation countrywide. Dr Rusibamayila, however, explained that the pilot programme introduced in Kilimanjaro was not meant to test the efficacy of the HPV vaccine, but to come up with a system which can be used to implement the programme nationwide.