Kenya Takes Vital Step Against Cervical Cancer and Introduces Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Vaccine into Routine Immunization

Content provided by APO Group. CNBC Africa provides content from APO Group as a service to its readers, but does not edit the articles it publishes. CNBC Africa is not responsible for the content provided by APO Group.
Download logo

With President Uhuru Kenyatta leading the way, Kenya today joins an increasing number of African countries taking a vital step against a common cause of death among women – in the country and the region – by introducing the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine against cervical cancer into its routine immunization schedule.

“Please, let us not fight science – let us respond to questions, discuss and agree because we all want a right and prosperous future for our children,” the Kenyan President said at the launch of the cervical cancer prevention and control strategy in a Mombasa schoolyard, where around 45 girls received the HPV vaccine.

Their parents, teachers and community leaders joined the President, government officials, the Mombasa Catholic Archbishop Martin Kivuva Musonde and other religious leaders in celebrating the significance of this new strategy.

Cervical cancer is one of the few cancers that is almost totally preventable. The HPV vaccine is effective against most HPV strains, which account for more than 70% of cervical cancer cases.

The HPV vaccine against cervical cancer is effective if administered before exposure to the virus, which is transmitted sexually. Kenya is targeting 800 000 girls aged 10 years throughout the country after basing the strategy on lessons learned from the experience of a Kitui County demonstration project a few years ago. The vaccine is administered on the upper part of the arm in two doses, six months apart.

“In Kenya, nine women die every day from cervical cancer,” explained Honourable Sicily Kariuki, Cabinet Secretary for Health, during today’s launch festivity in Mombasa, adding that women in their twenties are now vulnerable. “This sad situation must be reversed. The HPV vaccine has potential to cut the burden of cervical cancer by 70%.”

Kenya becomes the twelfth country in East and Southern Africa to integrate the HPV vaccine into its routine immunization schedule.

“In many parts of Africa, cervical cancer screening is limited, with very little capacity for managing advanced cases. This is largely due to insufficient access to health care services,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “We commend Kenya for their commitment to prevent cervical cancer, and we hope more countries will take similar action.”

To eliminate cervical cancer, WHO called on partners and countries in 2018 to increase access and coverage of three essential interventions: screening and treatment of pre-cancerous lesions, management of cervical cancer and HPV vaccination.

WHO Representative in Kenya Dr Rudi Eggers also applauded the Government for introducing the HPV vaccine into the national immunization schedule. “WHO recognizes the importance of cervical cancer as an important global health problem. Kenya has once again shown its commitment to the health of its population by ensuring all eligible girls receive the HPV vaccine, a safe and effective vaccine,” said Dr Eggers.

To prepare for the national introduction of the HPV vaccine, Kenya successfully conducted a demonstration project between 2013 and 2015 in Kitui County, with a 95% coverage rate among 22 500 girls.

WHO will continue to support countries in rolling out the HPV vaccine and expanding access and coverage of cervical cancer screening and treatment to save lives and promote well-being among women and girls across the African Region.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of WHO Regional Office for Africa.

Related Content

COVID-19: Where does the wedding industry go from here?

The months between May and August, and again in December, are often referred to in Rwanda as “Wedding Season”; a time when tens if not hundreds of couples take advantage of the good weather and visiting family members to have their wedding ceremonies. CNBC Africa spoke to Co-Founder of Tamiim Beauty, Ivan Mugemanyi for more.

Understanding Nigeria’s debt strategy

Following the approval of President Buhari’s $5.5 billion loan request by Nigerian lawmakers, Steve Osho, Managing Director of Comercio Partners Capital joins CNBC Africa to assess Nigeria's debt strategy as the country braces up to the COVID-19 shock.

Breaking down Nigeria’s licensing round for marginal oilfields

Nigeria has launched its first licensing round for marginal oilfields in nearly 20 years, according to the Department of Petroleum Resources. The bid process from announcement to the execution of relevant agreements is expected to last about 6 months. Oyeyemi Oke, Oil and Gas Lawyer and Partner at A02 law joins CNBC Africa for more.

Zedcrest Capital CEO on COVID-19, debt sustainability & Nigeria’s economic future

Nigeria’s National Assembly has approved the $5.5 billion external loan request of the executive arm of government to fund the country's budget deficit. While addressing the revised Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper, the lawmakers raised the oil price benchmark to $28 per barrel from the $25. Dayo Amzat, Managing Director and CEO of Zedcrest Capital joins CNBC Africa for more.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC AFRICA delivered to your inbox

More from CNBC Africa

Oceana CEO on H1 results & how the company is responding to COVID-19

The tide facing Oceana’s first half profits remained constant, with the fishing group recording flat headline earnings per share of 249.8 cents. The strong showing from its African operations was offset by lower fish oil sales and profit from US based Daybrooke. The closure of the Chinese market for live lobster following the Covid-19 outbreak also weighed on results. Oceana CEO, Imraan Soomra joins CNBC Africa for more.

How The Stimulus Programs Failed Americans: Joseph Stiglitz

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz says U.S. government stimulus programs have failed to help the most vulnerable workers and companies during the coronavirus pandemic. He discusses longer-term challenges facing the U.S. economy and educat

COVID-19: Adventis on why it’s time to increase Africa exposure

Despite the uncertainties of the Covid-19 pandemic, now could be the best time for global investors underweight exposure to Africa to raise their stakes on the continent, says investment management firm, Adventis. The firm argues that the prospects for investment returns in Africa remain high. Joseph Rohm, MD and Fund Manager at Adventis joins CNBC Africa for more.

SA govt. to challenge court ruling on constitutionality of lock-down regulations

Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu said government will challenge a court ruling that found lock-down level 3 and 4 regulations unconstitutional.

Partner Content

Sanlam Emerging Markets and its partners on the African continent invest over $12 million to fight COVID-19

As we go through this global pandemic together, it is the little things we miss. A high five, a handshake, a walk...

VIVO CEO is a dynamic leader for this innovative global brand

May 2020 -- Six months ago the vision for vivo in South Africa was just beginning to...

Trending Now

Hackers target the newly unemployed: CNBC After Hours

CNBC.com's MacKenzie Sigalos brings you the day's top business news headlines. On today's show, CNBC's Phil LeBeau details the beginning of a comeback for airline companies as more flights are added to the summer schedule. And CNBC's Josh Lipton brea

Op-Ed: COVID-19 is likely to lead to a vast increase in youth unemployment in Africa, this is how business can mitigate the damage…

Why business has a greater role to play in mitigating conflict with COVID-19

Op-Ed: Tourism sector in Mauritius devastated by COVID-19

“Travel bans and containment measures around the world are having a devastating effect on the tourism sector in Mauritius, which was already experiencing sluggish growth in 2019,” writes economist, Shani Smit.

COMMENT: Nic Wolpe on George Floyd – Why can’t we banish bigotry like we banished apartheid?

One is left stunned and bewildered that the leader, supposedly of the free world, only interest and concern is for the police to turn on its people, when what is needed and required, is leadership, compassion, understanding, empathy and solidarity at a time of multiple distress, pain and anguish.
- Advertisement -