WINDHOEK – Plans are underway to introduce the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine in Namibia to state patients next year, Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services, Juliet Kavetuna, has revealed.
“This important primary prevention measure is anticipated to vaccinate all girls between the age of nine and 13 years,” said Kavetuna, who spoke at the launch of the new cervical cancer guidelines last week.
HPV can cause cervical and other cancers, including cancer of the vulva, vagina, penis, or anus. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection.
Kavetuna said it is unjustifiable that women who have HPV, which causes cervical cancer, should die of cancer if the prevention and treatment strategies are available.
The number of cervical cancer cases among women in Namibia has increased by 50 percent, making it the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in Namibia, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) country director, Dr Eric Dzuiban.
This is despite the fact that cervical cancer is detectable, preventable and treatable, Dzuiban said.
Commenting on the introduction of the vaccine, Dr Taka Chinyoka of Wellcare Medical Practice said: “This is one of the greatest news we’ve had in a while.”
It would be good that all women would have the opportunity to be vaccinated against HPV, he said, stating that the vaccine is “relatively active”.
“With the vaccine we’re hoping to see a decrease in cervical cancer in the future.”
Chinyoka said cervical cancer is indeed prevalent in the country, noting that it was the second most common cancer in women.
In his practice, he has seen many women with the disease as well as those who presented with pre-cervical cancer.
He stressed that it is vital for all women to have access to screening services for the disease.
2018-09-24 10:09:09 11 months ago