Please follow these steps to get vaccinated and for optimal prevention:
The Vaccination drives are the primary purpose of Dance for a Cure. All funds raised go towards purchasing the vaccine against the HPV virus that causes the most HPV-related diseases in males and females. The vaccine is very expensive. Research by the Health Economic Unit at the University of Cape Town to establish the cost-effectiveness of a national HPV vaccination programme found that from a societal perspective, the cost per vaccinated girl would be R3 295. The cost of diagnosis and treatment of cervical cancer, on the other hand, ranges from R24 997 (stage one) to R55 997 (stage four) per woman. We need to reduce the price of the vaccine and seal international and private funding because research draws attention to the fact that thousands of South African girls will one day die, from a largely preventable disease.
In order for the vaccine to be effective, three vaccines need to be administered to each girl, the second being one month after the first and the third being six months after the second. Due to this added complexity, we need to focus on closed environments to ensure that we can monitor the same children and ensure that all three vaccines are administered, so to this end we have chosen the Abraham Kriel Home, The Johannesburg Children’s Home, The Durban Children’s Home, St Philomena’s Children’s home and The Wylie Youth Centre. Our goal is to vaccinate all of the children at these homes.
We are very excited about the relationship that we have forged with the homes and we, ensure that at the beginning of each vaccination programme that the causes of cervical cancer are explained to understand the need for the vaccine. We have a relationship with Dr Sarah Jackson, a gynaecologist from the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital, who has put together a very visual presentation that explains in layman’s terms what the HPV virus is, how it is transmitted and how it compares to the HIV virus and how this, in turn, can cause cervical cancer. This presentation creates awareness of cervical cancer and we encourage the girls to explain this to their friends, it explains the importance of safe and protected sex as well as the importance of knowing and looking after your body.
The third element of the programme is to make each child feel very special. Here we manage to get many things sponsored and donated so that each girl receives a hamper with her vaccine, a blanket and stationery or the like. We try and bring an element of dance as well to the delivery so that it will imprint in their memory more than just listening to a message. All around, it’s a very special programme that nurses from Netcare participate in on a voluntary basis to actually administer the vaccine and they have been instrumental in ensuring the success of this programme.
We look forward to many more programmes to come.