Dar Al Ber to provide 2,000 human papilloma virus vaccines in Africa

As part of its international humanitarian projects, the Dar Al Ber Society will provide human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccines to 2,000 girls in Africa by the third quarter of this year.

Abdullah Ali bin Zayed, executive director of the Dubai Government-run Dar Al Ber Society, made the announcement on Thursday on the sidelines of the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference and Exhibition.

Official reports suggest that HPV is the fourth most common transmitted virus among women in the world, particularly in Africa. “As many as 92,000 women got infected with the virus just in one year (2012), while 57,000 were killed over the same period,” said bin Zayed.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, bin Zayed said the vaccine, which is only effective in girls aged between 9 and 13, has proved effective in the prevention of cervical cancer caused by select types of HPV.

The society will provide the costly vaccine to the girls in collaboration with Axios International group, a global consultancy dedicated to increasing access to quality healthcare. “Under the current vaccination programme, local organisations and institutions will be trained to design, implement and administer HPV vaccines so that they become capable of developing and running nationwide vaccination campaigns,” he said.

He said the society, since its inception in 1978, has been involved in bettering people’s lives in the UAE and abroad. “We are proud of the humanitarian, educational and medical initiatives we have undertaken worldwide.

“We are currently studying the situation in African countries, which are mostly affected by HPV, to provide them with the medical resources. Hopefully, we can come up with an agreement with the local governments there within a month.”

Anas Nofal, regional operations director of Axios, said his company provides expert knowledge of HIV, cancer and other chronic diseases, as well as specialised expertise in healthcare delivery in low- and middle-income countries.

“At least 70 per cent of sexually active persons will be infected with genital HPV at some point in their lives. Over 8 million people have received tests or treatments through Axios-managed programmes.”


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