HPV vaccine is safe CS Health assures public. Kiambu (Nairobi) October 29, 2019

The Cabinet Secretary for  Health Sicily Kariuki today toured Githunguri Health Centre, where she witnessed the vaccination of 10 year old girls with the HPV, to protect  them against cervical cancer, in Kiambu County.

The CS who was accompanied by the Kiambu County top leadership assured parents that the vaccine is safe and effective and urged them to take their children to the nearest health facilities for vaccination, free of charge.

The decision to introduce the HPV Vaccine to protect the girls against cervical cancer is timely and envisaged to complement existing interventions and be among a three-pronged strategy against cervical cancer: HPV vaccination, screening and treatment of pre-cancerous lesions.

In Kenya, Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer deaths. It is estimated that every year 4,802 women in the country are diagnosed with the disease, approximately 68% which translates to 2,401 women die annually, and 7 deaths every day.

The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) causes cervical cancer, and the primary prevention mechanism is vaccination with two doses of the HPV vaccine, given at a six- month interval, to girls 10-14 years of age.

This is considered one of the most effective interventions if the vaccine is given to girls who are not yet sexually active.

The decision to introduce HPV vaccination nationally in Kenya follows the successful implementation of a GAVI-supported HPV demonstration project in Kitui in 2013-2015. Kenya is targeting 800,000 girls, who are currently 10 years old and subsequently to all girls as they turn 10 years old in future.