Government to Roll Out Free HPV Vaccine against Cervical Cancer

Henrietta Brewer
October 17, 2019

The B.C. government says it's from this program, as well as immunization registries, that researchers were able to compare women who had been vaccinated to those who had not.

Women included in the study received the quadrivalent vaccine, which protects against two types of HPV responsible for approximately 70 per cent of all cervical cancers.

Sicily Kariuki, cabinet secretary for the ministry of health said the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine will be offered nationally alongside other Routine Infant Vaccines through an existing network of over 9,000 public and private health facilities.

"Young women who received the vaccine were nearly 60% less likely to have any high-risk types for pre-cancerous cells so that's a very exciting story".

At the media briefing a cervical cancer survivor, Millicent Kangoga, a mother of two told the gathering that cultural and religious beliefs deterred her from seeking medical assistance at the early stages. As today's grade six girls receive a more comprehensive vaccine, rates of pre-cancer are expected to decline even further in coming years.

The CS announced that the vaccine is in routine immunization programs in more than 115 countries worldwide.

Cervical cancer is the second-most prevalent cancer amongst women in Kenya after breast cancer but it claims more lives as most cases are detected at advanced stages.

According to Benda Kithaka, a civil society representative working with communities to eliminate cancer, the vaccine is safe and aims at protecting adolescent girls against cervical cancer infection. It can take more than ten years for pre-cancerous cells to develop into cervical cancer. The strategy involves implementing broader programmes for cancer screening and treatment.

Kenya on Wednesday launched a cervical cancer vaccine that targets over 800,000 girls above the age of 10 years in its first phase of operation.

"The vaccine will be given free of charge to earmarked 800,000 girls who are now 10 years old and subsequently to all girls as they turn 10 years old in future", Kariuki told journalists in Nairobi on Wednesday. HPV is so common that the majority of sexually active women get the virus at some point in their lives.

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