The Sri Lanka College of Paediatricians, in a laudable venture to celebrate World Immunization Week, organized a programme themed “Immunization and Awareness of Vaccination in Adolescents” at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children (LRH), Colombo on the 29th of April 2016.

This effort was a prelude to the introduction of the Human Papilloma Virus Vaccine into the Expanded Programme of Immunization in Sri Lanka by the Ministry of Health in 2017. It was geared towards initial sensitization of the general public, well before the new initiation would be undertaken next year.

In this event, the Chief Guest was Dr P G Mahipala, Director General of Health Services of Sri Lanka. Dr Paba Palihawadana, Chief Epidemiologist of the Ministry of Health of Sri Lanka and Dr Kumara Wickremasinghe, Director LRH also graced the occasion. All three of them in their respective addresses extolled the virtues of immunization as a proven utility for prevention of several diseases.

After the formal inauguration of the event, which girls aged 9 to 13 years were given the first dose of the Human Papilloma Virus Vaccine free of charge. All The arrangements have been made to complete the full course for those who were given the first dose on that day. Dr Ramya de Silva, President, Sri Lanka College of Paediatricians administered the first dose of the first vaccine to the first recipient. A total of fifty girls were given the vaccine on that day. Sri Lanka is one country that has shown wonderful results with the National Programme of Immunization. The public cooperation and acceptance of the initiative have been absolutely marvellous. The event at LRH was another manoeuvre towards sustaining the much acclaimed results of this programme.