Kenya to roll out HPV vaccine this Friday

 Kenya to roll out HPV vaccine this Friday
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The Ministry of Health will this Friday roll out the Human Papillomavirus (HPV)virus vaccine against cervical cancer.

The vaccine that targets approximately 800,000, 10 year old girls will be administered in two doses six months apart free of charge across the country.

The HPV vaccine pilot vaccination in Kenya was carried between 2013 and 2015 in Kitui covering 22,500 children of ages 9 to 11 resulting to 95 percent evidence based success.

Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki has assured Kenyans that the vaccine is safe and aims at protecting adolescent girls against cervical cancer infection.

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Speaking during a media briefing Wednesday, ahead of the launch in Mombasa, the CS disclosed that cervical cancer is one of the leading causes of death among women and is preventable through vaccination.

She said it was unfortunate that nine women die from cervical cancer in Kenya every day yet it is preventable.

“Cancer of the Cervix, is the leading cause of cancer related deaths among women in Kenya. Nine women die from cervical Cancer in Kenya alone, every day. This is one too many! Cervical Cancer is now preventable through vaccination,” CS Sicily Karuiki said.

Kariuki said her Ministry was working closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other agencies in the roll-out of the nationwide HPV vaccine initiative.

In Kenya, cancer is the 3rd leading cause of death after infectious and cardiovascular diseases. In 2018 alone, 49,000 new cancer cases were diagnosed and 33,000 deaths documented.

UNICEF Chief of Health Yaron Wolman said the vaccine is a key health intervention and they will support the ministry to ensure all 10- year- old girls are protected.”

What is HPV?

HPV stands for human papillomavirus.

Depending on the strain, HPV is an infection that causes warts in various parts of the body. The virus is usually harmless and goes away by itself, but some types can lead to cancer or genital warts.

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