• Official says vaccine available at a fee in private facilities and is free in major public hospitals.
• Meeting meant to ramp up awareness for the vaccine which will be administered to 10-year-old girls.
The HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer is available to 10-year-old girls in Garissa county.
The Health department has launched the immunisation campaign to prevent the Human Papilloma Virus among women. Some types of HPV can cause cervical and other cancers.
The vaccine has been tested by the Kenya Medical Research Institute and is safe, health officials said on Thursday.
It is available for free in public health facilities and for a fee at private facilities.
A meeting on Thursday of religious and opinion leaders, women and members of civil society was urged to support the campaign.
Health executive Ahmed Nadhir acknowledged that resistance to vaccines was mainly caused by myths about immunisation. Some people link polio and other vaccines with sterilisation, which is untrue.
"I urge our religious leaders to take a leading role in sensitising the public on the comprehensive prevention of cervical cancer,” the CEC said.
"We believe they will pass the message to the population."
Nadhir said that for every five children, two are immunised, a challenge that requires the mobilisation of the entire community.
He said the county has made tremendous progress in promoting immunisation, citing polio jab that 78 per cent of children under age five have received.
“I believe with a sustained campaign and support of the county leadership, the same will be achieved in the cervical cancer immunisation programme," he said.
Edited by R.Wamochie