Wednesday, 10 August 2016 13:55

Second dose of HPV vaccine rolled out in Gauteng

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As part of the ongoing campaign to protect girls against cervical cancer, the Gauteng Departments of Health and Education are in the process of rolling out a province-wide second dose vaccination campaign to protect girls from being infected with Human Papillomavirus (HPV).

HPV_Vaccinations

The campaign is conducted biannually and targets all Grade 4 girls in public primary and special schools.

“The HPV is most effective when given to young girls who have not yet engaged in sexual activities as it works only as prevention rather than a cure,” said the departments.

All the Grade 5 girls who received their first HPV dose in September 2015 are now due for their second HPV dose.

“The bi-annual campaign is part of the integrated school health program and its first phase ran from February to March 2016. The second phase has been running from 2 August and will continue until 6 September 2016,” said the two departments.

The Department is encouraging all parents and care givers to cooperate and sign the consent forms to allow their children to be immunised.

“No leaners will be immunised without having signed consent forms,” said Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu.

Breast and cervical cancer are the two leading cancers among women in South Africa.

About 82 percent of deaths due to cancer occur in developing countries, where access to prevention services such as education, the HPV vaccination and lifesaving pre -cancer screening and early treatment is limited.

HPV greatly increases risk of cervical cancer in women. The vaccine is freely available in the public health sector in South Africa.

In 2014, 16 500 schools were visited and nearly 420 000 nine-year-old girls were vaccinated against HPV.

Last modified on Wednesday, 10 August 2016 14:01