My grandmother died from cervical cancer when I was 8.
When I was 12, I received the HPV vaccine just like most girls my age in Rwanda. The day after we got the first dose, my classmates started spreading rumours about the vaccine that they had heard from their families and communities.
Every person I told about getting vaccinated said I wouldn’t have kids. I got scared and wondered if it was true.
My mother reassured me that the vaccine didn’t have any negative side effects. With her support, I went ahead and got the second dose.
When I was 22, I got pregnant. When it came time to deliver, everything went well. Today, my baby boy is 2 years old and healthy.
I shared my story in the Ni Nyampinga magazine in the hope of protecting my younger sisters from the deadly disease.
Consumers of the brand have greater awareness of cervical cancer and greater knowledge that the HPV vaccine is ‘for girls my age’.
Girls aged 10-19 consume the Ni Nyampinga brand
Magazines with HPV content distributed countrywide
Administered to 12-years-old girls, there is high coverage of the HPV vaccination in Rwanda, but strong myths persist including that the vaccine causes infertility. Girl Effect uses the established and popular Ni Nyampinga brand, which reaches 3.6 million people, to improve knowledge and attitudes towards the HPV vaccine with a focus on busting myths.
Fear of the needle is a major concern for girls before getting the vaccines, as a prevalent myth is that the second round hurts more. Ni Nyampinga addresses these concerns to build girls’ confidence about taking both doses and help them overcome their short-term fears for the sake of their long-term health.
Ni Nyampinga consumers have more positive attitudes about the vaccine, are less likely to believe in infertility myths, and are active in challenging rumours. By creating trust in health services at an early age, girls are more likely to value and protect their health as they grow up.
3.6 million people, to improve knowledge and attitudes towards the HPV vaccine with a focus on busting myths.
Ni Nyampinga Sakwe airs on Saturday at 2:00 pm and Baza Shangazi explains to us what happens when we get vaccinated (...) and tells us how it will not affect us but instead will help us have a healthy life. I feel scared at some point but I believe that when I get it, I will get a healthy life.