Kentucky leads nation in HPV related cancers

Henrietta Strickland
October 17, 2019

To eliminate cervical cancer, the World Health Organization proposes vaccinating 90 per cent of girls under the age of 15 by 2030. It's called the Human Papillomavirus Virus vaccine.

The Kenyan Ministry of Health is set to rollout a cervical cancer vaccine targeting 10 year-old girls starting Friday, in a move that will see the shot included in the national immunisation routine.

The goal of the discussion was to brainstorm ways to close the immunization gap in Kentucky.

Meanwhile, according to a representative with the American Cancer Society, Kentucky leads the nation when it comes to the number of HPV related cancers. "The dramatic success - pre-cancer rates dropping by over half - shows us the importance of having children immunized early to protect their lives".

Dr. Gina Ogilvie, a senior research adviser at B.C. Women's Hospital, says the study is further evidence that highlights the vaccine's positive impact.

"Ninety-two percent of people got the vaccine in school and we really are privileged in BC to have a school-based program where the nurses come into the schools and they can give it to young people as part of their school day so parents don't have to leave work to take their kids to a clinic or a physician". Now, however, the vaccine given in schools protects against seven types of HPV and 90 per cent of cervical cancer. The vaccine is now available for free to both girls and boys in grade six and protects against cervical, anal and some rare penile cancers.

Although most HPV infections clear up on their own, some cause pre-cancerous lesions that can develop into cancer over time if they're not treated. The strategy involves implementing broader programmes for cancer screening and treatment.

"The vaccine will be given free of charge to earmarked 800,000 girls who are now 10 years old and subsequently to all girls as they turn 10 years old in future", Kariuki told journalists in Nairobi on Wednesday.

Kenya on Wednesday launched a cervical cancer vaccine that targets over 800,000 girls above the age of 10 years in its first phase of operation. HPV is so common that the majority of sexually active women get the virus at some point in their lives.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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