Sunday, 3 March, 2024
HomeNews UpdateHPV vaccination campaign to fight cervical cancer in SA

HPV vaccination campaign to fight cervical cancer in SA

SA’s [b]Departments of Health and Basic Education[/b] have launched a campaign to vaccinate girls nine years and older against cervical cancer. [s]Health-e[/s] reports that the national campaign aims to vaccinate all grade four girls older than nine years of age against the human papilloma virus (HPV), spread mostly by sexual contact. Delivered in two doses several months apart, the HPV vaccine aims to protect against the two strains responsible for about 70% of all cervical cancers. Girls will receive an initial dose now and a follow-up dose in September and October. International research has found that cervical cancer is the second most common form of cancer among SA women and is six times as likely to develop in HIV-positive women.

[i]Critics are asking why boys are not being offered the jab[/i], since certain HPV strains can lead to cancers of the penis. An [s]IoL[/s] report says that according to the [b]Treatment Action Campaign's Portia Serote[/b]: ‘Pharmaceutical companies say girls and boys from the age of nine up to 25 can be given the vaccine. So what is happening to boys – who are carriers of HPV – and girls that don’t fall in that group (or) children living in undeveloped areas where there are no schools?’ The report says international bodies such as the [b]World Health Organisation[/b] and the [b]US Centres for Disease Control[/b] recommend the HPV vaccine for girls and boys. The [b]Cancer Association of South Africa[/b] has also recommended the HPV vaccine for men up to the age of 26 but unless vaccine prices drop, SA is unlikely to expand the public campaign to young men, according to the [b]Western Cape Department of Health[/b].

[link url=]Full Health-e report[/link]
[link url=]Full IoL report[/link]

MedicalBrief — our free weekly e-newsletter

We'd appreciate as much information as possible, however only an email address is required.