STAKEHOLDERS in the health sector have been challenged to provide prostate cancer vaccines for young boys, as the country rolls out a human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination for teenage girls starting today.
By Nhau Mangirazi
The issue was raised during a consultative meeting in Hurungwe last week.
“Yes, we know that girls will get vaccine to guard against HPV, but have they stopped to think of the boy child? Latest research reveal that young ad
ults may be affected. Although it tends to affect older generations more, even some young boys can be affected as well,” a health expert who requested anonymity said.
Hurungwe district matron Sister Ngolanga appealed to stakeholders to spread the word so that no girls will be left out.
“Our appeal is to have all young girls be assisted during the roll out. This is a national programme that we must accommodate all girls,” she said.
Health and Child Care ministry is targeting 800 000 girls to curb the infection causing cervical cancer − the fourth most common cancer in women.
According to the World Health Organisation, cervical cancer has caused an estimated 266 000 deaths and 528 000 new cases in 2012.
“A large majority (around 85%) of the global burden occurs in the less developed regions, where it accounts for almost 12% of all female cancers,” WHO said.
“Virtually, all cervical cancer cases (99%) are linked to genital infection with HPV and it is the most common viral infection of the reproductive tract. HPV can also cause other types of anogenital, head and neck cancers, and genital warts in both men and women. HPV infections are transmitted through sexual contact.”