Uganda will start vaccinating all girls aged ten and above against cervical cancer starting next year, Dr Gerald Mutungi, the non-communicable diseases programme manager at the ministry of Health, says.
Speaking at a national stakeholders meeting on cervical cancer screening and preventative therapy initiative at Metropole hotel on July 23, Mutungi said Uganda had received a grant from GAVI and would roll out countrywide vaccinations next year.
“We might need government to supplement on the operational funds but I am sure that next year, the vaccinations will begin,” Mutungi said.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that girls aged nine to 13 be vaccinated against cervical cancer. Uganda is, however, targeting girls aged ten because it is assumed that these have not engaged in sexual relations that could have exposed them to the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), responsible for cervical cancer.
It is important to vaccinate girls against cervical cancer because according to a factsheet on cervical cancer from Marie Stopes, cervical cancer is one of the two most common causes of cancer-related deaths in Uganda. About 3,600 women are diagnosed with the disease every year and 2,500 of these die from the disease.
Source : The Observer