The Ministry of Health has launched free vaccination against cervical cancer among 10- year- old girls in Homa Bay sub-county in an attempt to fight the disease.
Speaking during a stakeholders meeting held at Makongeni Hospital, area Sub County Health Promotion Officer Charles Okatch said the vaccine will be administered to the girls in two doses, six months apart.
He added that the vaccination will be available in all the health facilities from next week and they plan to conduct outreach programs in
schools and mobile clinics in order to reach out to all girls aged 10.
According to a WHO report, in Kenya cervical cancer occurs in women between the ages of 15 to 44 and is diagnosed mostly at around 40 years.The report further reveals that cervical cancer claims lives of at least nine women daily which totals to over 3,200 annually.
Cervical cancer is caused by Human Papilloma Virus(HPV) which the ministry of health assures can be prevented through vaccination
of young girls, screening for pre-cancer and providing treatment for
women aged above 30 years.
According to Okatch cervical cancer is a major public health concern in Kenya being the second most common cancer in women.
Okatch challenged men to undergo Medical Male Circumcision since they are the potential carrier of the HP Virus. The virus is transmitted
through skin to skin contact during sexual intercourse.
The Health Promotion Officer appealed to the stakeholders including teachers, guardians and parents to mobilize the children in receiving the vaccination.
By Godwine Ochieng and Davis Langat