REPUBLIC OF KENYA

Government targets 5000 women in second cervical cancer campaign

Makueni (KENYA) January 21, 2020 – The Government today launched the second National Cervical Cancer Awareness month targeting to reach 5,000 women across the country.

The campaign dubbed stop cervical cancer was launched by the Ministry of Health, Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS), Dr. Aman Rashid in Makueni, at Kathonzweni market.

The CAS disclosed that the Ministry of Health has distributed screening equipment to health facilities across the country to improve services for cervical cancer screening and treatment of pre-cancer lesions and urged all women to go for screening at health centres, sub-county and county referral facilities, faith-based organizations and selected private facilities across the country.

“The establishment of ten county chemotherapy centers as well as ongoing construction of radiotherapy bunkers in Mombasa, Nakuru and Garissa regional cancer centers will greatly enhance access to cancer treatment,” he noted.

He emphasized that the centers have received chemotherapy equipment and drugs and personnel trained on safe handling of chemotherapy to boost their capacity to provide the services but also acknowledged that screening coverage has remained low, reaching only about 16.4% of eligible women.

The CAS said cancer remains a major public health concern in Kenya with Cervical Cancer being the second most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer deaths among women. Every day, at least 9 women die from cervical cancer yet it is a preventable disease through awareness, vaccination, screening and treatment.

He disclosed that the Ministry of Health with the support of partners is currently implementing a roadmap for universal health coverage, which has prioritized Cancer Prevention, Screening and Early Treatment.

“Our vision at the Ministry, is that no woman or child should be left behind. We endeavor to ensure that every eligible child is immunized and gets an opportunity to survive and thrive and that every woman 25-49 years is screened regularly as per our National Cancer Screening Guidelines of 2018,” he stressed.

The Ministry he added has in the last one year installed equipment and infrastructure in over 3,000 Health Facilities to support the HPV vaccine introduction. A Further, 1,000 Health facilities will be equipped in the next one year. “These equipment have greatly improved access to immunization Services in the Country,” he said.

 

Kenya is one of the few African countries to have introduced the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine free of charge into their routine immunization schedules. The Vaccine targets girls who are currently 10 years old and subsequently to all girls as they turn 10 years in future.