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Govt of Kenya launches mass vaccination for young girls; here is why

Sun, 29 Jan 2023 Source: Ilyaas Al-Hasan

Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha on Saturday, January 28, announced mass vaccination for 90 per cent of Kenyan girls between the age of 10 and 14.

Nakhumicha noted that Kenyan girls will be given vaccines that will enhance their chances of not contracting terminal cervical cancer.

Through various partnerships, President William Ruto's government is seeking to reduce the number of women who contract cervical cancer.

"I appeal to all healthcare service providers to join us in this cause," CS Susan Nakhumicha implored partners.

According to CS Nakhumicha, the government has put in place mechanisms that will ensure that Kenyan women are well taken care of in all cancer treatment centres.

"The Ministry of Health will continue to work with counties and all partners to eliminate cervical cancer in Kenya," Nakhumicha stated.

Nakhumicha also called on husbands to facilitate their wives in the process of getting cancer screening services.

"To stop cervical cancer, we all have a role to play. All women should get screened regularly, girls can be vaccinated from 10 to 14 yrs.

"Men should support their wives, mothers, sisters, granddaughters, grandmothers and daughters to get regular check-ups," Ministry of Health advised.

Cervical cancer, in particular, is a burden that is exerting significant strain on populations and health systems at all income levels.

The Ministry of Health revealed that cancer is the second leading cause of death after infectious and cardiovascular diseases.

At the same time, the International Agency for Research in Cancer (IARC) GLOBOCAN report for 2018 estimated 47,887 new cases of cancer annually with a mortality of 32,987.

Afya House stated that breast, cervix uteri, oesophagus, prostate and colorectum are the leading types of new cancer cases in both males and females across all ages.

However, health officials noted that oesophageal cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths, followed by cervical cancer and then breast cancer.

Source: Ilyaas Al-Hasan