Kenya to launch cervical cancer vaccine tomorrow

The Ministry of Health (MoH) is set to roll out a cervical cancer vaccine targeting 10-year-old girls starting tomorrow, in a move that will see the shot included in the national immunisation routine.

The MoH has set aside Sh800 million for the roll-out over the next one year and targets to give the free vaccine against the cancer-causing human papilloma virus (HPV) to about 800,000 girls.

Two doses of the HPV vaccine will be given to the girls six months apart, at about 9,000 public, private and faith-based centres countrywide. The ministry is rolling it out closely with the Ministry of Education and in collaboration with development partners that include the vaccine alliance Gavi, Unicef and World Health Organisation (WHO).

“There are about 27,000 reported cancer deaths every year in Kenya … these are statistics that should make anyone freeze. Cervical cancer is preventable through vaccination and our children should not miss out on this chance,” said Health Secretary, Cecily Kariuki.

“Starting this Friday we will start the routine roll-out of the cervical cancer vaccine and the country is ready with 1.3 million doses for the current year against the 800,000 target. We will give out two doses for maximum protection,” said Ms Kariuki.