The Human Papilloma Virus vaccine -HPV will now be available to parents in all public health facilities across the country, Dr. Jane Acheng, the Director General of Health Services have revealed. The Human Papilloma Virus vaccine protects women against cervical cancer.
According to Dr. Jane Acheng, the Health Ministry has secured vaccines worth Shillings 8 billion with funding from UNICEF, World Health Organisation and PATH, an international health Organisation. She says the Ministry targeted to immunise over 850,000 girls aged between 9 and 13 years by end of this year.
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Dr. Aceng says they have asked school administrators to take pupils in the age bracket to health facilities for vaccination adding that they will conduct outreaches for schools that are distant from the health facilities. For girls in that age bracket and are out of school, parents are encouraged to take them to health facilities for them to be immunised.
Cervical cancer is the most common form of cancer affecting Ugandan women, according to the UN World Health Organisation.
According to WHO, 3,577 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer annually and 2,464 die from the disease. WHO also says that about 33.6 percent of women in the general population are estimated to harbor cervical Human Papilloma Virus infection - the main cause of cervical cancer - at any given time.
Globally an estimated 528,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, and 266,000 die from the disease. Of these women, 85% live in developing countries. The World Health Organisation estimates that by 2030, the number of cervical cancer cases is expected to rise to 443,000 cases globally, more than double the anticipated number of deaths from pregnancy-related complications (estimated to be 200,000).