Lobby group lauds government for approving cervical cancer vaccine

The new cervical cancer vaccine that has been approved by government will go a long way in preventing the spread of the disease.

Rotary International Nairobi-Thika road president Miriam Kaniaru says this is a plus in the health sector in the country.

She was speaking in Nakuru during a one day free medical camp at Kiongoriria dispensary in Bahati organized by the foundation.

She also appealed to Kenyans to develop habit of regular medical checkups adding that many of the health conditions afflicting the people especially in rural areas, can be treated if detected early.

Kaniaru said many people were reluctant to go for medical checkup as a routine.

She noted that diseases such as cancer can be treated if caught at an early stage calling for more residents to create a habit of getting regular checkups.

“Cancer has really been a thorn in the flesh for many Kenyans and the cervical cancer vaccine by the government will go a long way in preventing such ailment,” She added.

The Ministry of Health will give 10-year-old girls two free doses of the vaccine against the cancer-causing human papillomavirus (HPV).

The doses will be administered six months apart. About 9,000 public, private and faith-based facilities countrywide are taking part in the vaccination program.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends vaccination of all girls and screening, at least once every year, for older women to reduce cancer risk, and the vaccine is most effective when administered between the ages of nine and 14.

There are about 100 types of HPV, of which at least 14 cause cancer. Two HPV types (16 and 18) cause 70 percent of cervical cancers and cervical lesions.

The camp saw more than 1000 patients suffering from diabetes, prostate cervical and breast cancer, eye cataracts and other ailments get tested and treated.

Area Sub County health officer Deborah Sigera said the vaccine should be embraced noting that cervical cancer has become notorious in the Country saying prevention should be given a priority.

The foundation also provided a delivery bed to the dispensary with Kaniaru stating that the equipment will go a long way in providing a smooth delivery for expectant mothers in the area.

The MoH targets to reduce cases of cancer of the cervix — the second most common in Kenya after breast cancer, according to recent statistics released by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

The disease claims about seven women in Kenya every day, about 3,000 per year, according to statistics from the MoH.

There are about 40,000 new cervical cancer cases annually. Globally, it is the fourth most frequent cancer in women.

PHOTO/Pristone Mambili:Rotary International Nairobi-Thika road president Miriam Kaniaru addressing media in Nakuru during a free medical camp.