GOVERNMENT will next week start conducting a pilot cervical cancer vaccination programme of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) in young girls.
The vaccination prevents women from developing cervical cancer which is said to be the second most common cancer.
Speaking to NewsDay, the director of epidemiology and disease control in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Portia Manangazira, said the launch would take place on Monday in Beitbridge and will start with at least 4 441 children who are 10 years old.
“It is going to be a school-based programme and we would start with 4 441 10-year-old girls,” Manangazira said.
“We are trying to protect the girls before they become sexually active because it has been realised that the cervical cancer is caused by infection.”
Manangazira said vaccinating the young girls before they are sexually active was ideal as cervical cancer is caused by an infection.
“It is better to vaccinate the young girls before they are sexually active,” she said.
“We are trying to protect them from cervical cancer.”
Manangazira said the launch will be held at Dulibadzimu Stadium.
Cervical cancer caused by sexually transmitted HPV is the second most common cancer in women worldwide and results in 274 000 deaths each year.
Marondera and Beitbridge have been selected for the two-year preliminary roll-out.
The vaccination programme will run simultaneously in both districts, reaching out to most girls.
In Zimbabwe, cervical cancer is the second highest cause of mortality after Kaposi’s sarcoma.