March 25, 2011
Diane Mutamba, an official in the Ministry of Health, said that the vaccination is expected to begin next month, with girls in Primary six to be the first beneficiaries.
The vaccine, known as Gardasil, is manufactured by pharmaceutical company, Merck.
“Cervical cancer is the most common cancer killer among women in Rwanda. The incidence of cervical cancer in Rwanda is 49.4/100,000. WHO estimates that about two women die each day in Rwanda from the cancer,” Mutamba said.
“Cervical cancer is not a genetic disease. All women who have ever had sex are at risk of contracting this type of cancer. Most girls usually get infected with HPV.
She added that, if untreated, cervical cancer can be fatal, causes great pain and suffering, and has significant negative effects on families and communities.
“Doctors recommend that girls get vaccinated when they are adolescents. In Rwanda, the vaccine will be given to girls in Primary six, and ideally, girls should get this vaccine before their first sexual contact.”
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