Prevent Cervical Cancer

Here is a notification that may be highly controversial. Would you want your daughter or son vaccinated?

The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Vaccination Campaign

In order to protect girls from getting cervical cancer caused by Human Papilloma Virus, the Republic of South Africa has made a decision to conduct a national vaccination campaign in 2014 to vaccinate girls in grade four who are 9 years and older. In 2013 the Minister of Health announced in his budget speech that SA will introduce the HPV vaccine to grade 4 girls in quintile 1 to 4 schools in 2014.

This decision was later reviewed to include all girls in quintile 1 to 5 schools. The estimated number of girls to be vaccinated is 500 000 in 18 000 public schools.

The incidence rate of Cervical cancer in South Africa is reported as 22.8 and 27 per 100 000 women as compared to the global average of 15.8i. Annually there are some 5 743 new cases reported with 3027 associated mortality. There is evidence that suggests that certain types of HPV are causally associated with cervical cancer with at least 99% of cervical cancer having detected HPV DNA.

HPV-16 and HPV-18 are found to cause over 70% of the cervical cancer cases. All these HPV types are vaccine-preventable. The World Health Organisation has recommended vaccinating sexually naïve girls aged between 9 to 13 years. Introducing the HPV vaccine presents an opportunity for South Africa to make long term savings and address health inequalities.

PS It is apparent from the last poster that the NDOH plans to procure the Cervarix brand, which contains HPV types 16 and 18 (as opposed to the Gardasil brand, which also contains types 6 and 11 in addition to the 16 and 18).