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Namibia to introduce HPV vaccine to teenagers for cervical cancer prevention

HPV vaccine

Windhoek, Namibia | Xinhua | Namibia has approved the procurement and introduction of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in the country’s expanded program on immunization for the prevention of cervical cancer, cabinet decisions issued Thursday show.

In a statement, the Namibian cabinet initially approved vaccinating 10 percent, about 40,000 girls between ages 9 and 14, before rolling out in three years to 70 percent of the target population.

According to the statement, the cabinet supported the procurement of the Gardasil four (4) vaccine through the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, and authorized the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MHSS) to embark upon a communication campaign to educate the public on the importance of HPV vaccines for cervical cancer prevention and control.

Information from the MHSS shows that cervical cancer is the second most prevalent cancer in Namibia, after breast cancer.

Current estimates indicate that 236 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year and 135 die from the disease; among those aware of the disease, low utilization of screening tests has been reported.

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