Kenya Rolls Out HPV Vaccine For Girls
The best part about the HPV vaccine roll-out is that it's free for Kenyans!
The Kenya Ministry of Health will roll out a cervical cancer vaccine on Friday. This vaccine targets 10-year-old girls starting Friday. This is a move that will see the shot included in the national immunization routine.
The ministry has set aside Ksh800 million ($8 million) to drive the roll-out over the next one year. And it targets to give the free vaccine against the cancer-causing human papillomavirus (HPV) to about 800,000 girls.
The girls in Kenya will receive two doses of the HPV cervical cancer vaccine six months apart.
It will take place at about 9,000 public, private and faith-based facilities countrywide.
The ministry is rolling out the immunization plan closely with the Ministry of Education. And in collaboration with development partners that include the vaccine alliance Gavi, Unicef and the World Health Organization (WHO).
“There are about 27,000 reported cancer deaths every year in Kenya. These are statistics that should make anyone freeze. Cervical cancer is preventable through vaccination and our children should not miss out on this chance.” Health Cabinet Secretary, Cecily Kariuki told journalists on Wednesday in Nairobi.
“Starting this Friday we will start the routine roll-out of the cervical cancer vaccine. And the country is ready with 1.3 million doses for the current year against the 800,000 target. We will give out two doses for maximum protection,” said Ms. Kariuki.
“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.
She disclosed that cervical cancer is one of the leading causes of death among women and is preventable through vaccination.
The Cervical Cancer Vaccine Is Free
Girls aged ten and above will receive the immunization. It will protect them from HPV infection, a primary cause of cervical cancer.
The World Health Organization approved the immunization’s safety. It said the countries that have already implemented it have not recorded any harmful side effects.
Australia was the first country to introduce the vaccine into the routine immunization program. And she may soon be cervical cancer-free.
The vaccine which will be offered nationwide alongside other routine infant vaccines through an existing network of over 9,000 Public and Private health facilities is targeting girls from age 10 years old and subsequently to all girls as they turn 10 years in the future.
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.