Ethiopia will start providing nationwide vaccination against cervical cancer beginning October 2018, Ministry of Health disclosed.
This was revealed at a press conference dedicated to the 8th African Vaccination Week.
Speaking on the occasion, State Minister of Health Kebede Worku said cervical cancer attacks Ethiopian women at the age of puberty and subjects them to severe pain and death.
Cervical cancer also remains a leading cause of cancerous death among women in Africa.
According to Kebede, Ethiopia has made preparations to provide vaccination for women as a major preventive measure to roll back the disease.
He stated that more than 4,600 women are annually infected with the disease in Ethiopian, out of of which 70 percent or some 3,200 die.
The ministry has tested the effectiveness of the vaccine on a pilot vaccination program conducted in two woredas in Oromia and Tigray regional states.
State Minister Kebede added that based on the results of the pilot vaccination program a nationwide vaccination will be given to all girls and women above the age of 14 beginning October 2018.
It has always been difficult to diagnose the specific cause of the infection by cervical cancer but to date Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is considered as the main cause of the disease.
About 70 percent of cervical cancer cases are attributed to HPV positive women and the virus is normally considered as sexually transmitted disease (STD).
Along with the preparations to start vaccination on cervical cancer vaccinations against diseases that cause disability and death among children is being provided as a major disease prevention strategy, Kebede said.
This year’s International Vaccination Week is also marked by staging various mass mobilization programs and efforts are underway to vaccinate children who have either not received or are made to quit vaccinations, it was learned.
Vaccination has been instrumental in effectively preventing the death of 2 to 3 million children across the country.
Nationwide child vaccination program started in Ethiopia in 1979 by providing vaccinations against 6 killer diseases but has now increased to 8 types of vaccinations which are currently provided in all health posts, health centers, and hospitals in the country.