Ghana launches HPV vaccine, 2 of 3 women diagnosed with cervical cancer die annually

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The government of Ghana has launched the HPV or Human Papiloma Virus vaccine for girls in class 4 and 5 in all districts in the Greater Accra, Central and Northern Regions. HPV is a sexually transmitted disease that can cause oral, anal, and cervical cancer. The vaccine is recommended for girls and boys before they become sexually active.

Speaking at the launch of the HPV vaccine immunization project Mrs. Lordina Mahama announced that of the 2000 Ghanaian women diagnosed with cervical cancer, two out of every three die every year. The vaccines are being given first to high risk areas where girls statistically start having sex at a younger age. According to the World Health Organization, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women worldwide and causes 500,000 new cases and 250,000 deaths each year.

A new study in Costa Rica of 7500 men and women, showed that just one dose of the HPV vaccine was enough for women to develop antibodies against the strongest form of the virus.

“A woman dies from cervical cancer every two minutes and out of those women who die of cervical cancer each year, more than 85 per cent of them live in developing countries where access to screening and treatment is often limited,” said Dr Mercy Ahun, Special Representative for GAVI Support Eligible Countries.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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