The Government of Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Health and Child Care will next month roll out a massive vaccination program to prevent Human Papillomavirus commonly referred to as HPV.
By Setfree.N.Mafukidze (RGN)
The exercise will see the Ministry of Health and Child Care using the multi-sectoral approach by partnering the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education since the vaccination is targeting the girls between 10 and 14 years of age who are thought to be not sexually active at that age and of school going age.
The Ministry of Health and Child Care will also use its Community Health manpower such as Village Health Care Workers to identify girls in the said age group who may have dropped out of school due to various circumstances.
Vaccination involves two doses of Human Papillomavirus Vaccination known as Cevarix
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination (Cevarix) prevents 65 to 75 percent of cervical cancer cases, while the other cases of cervical cancer cases are caused by tobacco use, a compromised immune system as well as multiple sexual partners.
Human Papillomavirus is a virus transmitted sexually from men to women, this virus is the leading cause of Cervical Cancer. HPV causes almost 90 percent of cervical cancer cases. According to the World Health Organisation in 2012 528 000 cancer cases were detected and 266 000 deaths were as a result of cervical cancer, 70 to 80 percent of cervical cancer cases were reported in developing countries including Zimbabwe, developed countries on the other hand reported fewer incidents because of their advancement in the use of vaccinations and early detection.
Several types of Human Papillomavirus are in existence but main cause of Cervical cancer are type 16 and 17 which has been detected as causing 75 percent of cervical cancer cases. Human papillomavirus is likely detectable in people who have multiple sexual partners.
This effort by government supports other programs already being implemented by the Ministry of Health and Child Care in the fight against cervical cancer. The other programs include Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) and VIAC screening which promotes early screening and detection of cervical cancer in all women.
In light of all these programs being put in place all parents and guardians are encouraged to compliment government efforts to curb Cervical Cancer by ensuring that their daughters between 10 and 14 years are vaccinated and at the same time promote and encourage the circumcision of their sons.
Setfree.N.Mafukidze is a Registered General Nurse and a Health Promoter.