SITUATION: Right now in Mali, there are 33,000 doses of the HPV vaccine going to waste in a warehouse.
PROBLEM: Due to the current political crisis in Mali, the vaccine cannot be distributed, since public health funds are going to support the military.
ACTIONS BY GAIA: In 2011, GAIA Vaccine Foundation determined that Malians were ready and willing to be vaccinated. We have an experienced team ready distribute those doses to teenagers in Mali – of course – under health care provider supervision.
THUMBS UP: Global Giving is helping us this week! If you contribute before Friday, they will give a 100% match for donations to our projects on their website!
RESULTS: In less than three months we can start vaccinating 11,000 adolescents and protect future generations of Malian women from cancer!
PLEASE: Join us! Help us move the vaccines from the warehouses to people in need of them. It costs less than a latte a day ($3.33) to save ONE adolescent. How about donating a $100 to save 30? Life is full of choices, if you have them!
IMPORTANT: The vaccine is perishable, and time is running out. If not used soon, the doses will be wasted.
About the Study
When we conducted our Malian-based HPV study, a dismal 9.8% of female participants had even heard of cervical cancer. Yet 12%, about 1 in every 10, Malian women has been diagnosed with HPV.
Further, 80% of those diagnosed with cervical cancer will die from the disease. That is, 1,076 Malian women die each year of preventable cervical cancer due to a lack of cytotechnology screening and early treatment programs.
100% of our study participants said they would be willing to receive HPV vaccination and would like the HPV vaccine to be available in Mali. 74.5% said they would vaccinate their children against HPV.
In West Africa, textiles have traditionally served as a method of storytelling. GAIA VF worked with Eliza Squibb, a RISD student, to develop a cloth that tells the story about HPV vaccination and protection against cervical cancer. The cloth will proclaim, “I immunize myself, I protect myself, and I take care of myself” – on a background showing healthy cells near healthy fallopian tubes and cervices. Healthcare workers who vaccinate teenagers will wear this cloth to celebrate the vaccination campaign.
For more information, please visit www.gaiavaccine.org.