City of Joburg to pro­tect fe­male learn­ers against cer­vi­cal cancer

Inner City Gazette - - Front Page -

ond dose (HPV2) will re­sume on 07 Au­gust and will con­tinue un­til 14 Sep­tem­ber 2018.

The pur­pose of this in­ter­ven­tion is to pre­vent cer­vi­cal cancer and also pro­tect learn­ers against worm in­fes­ta­tions. About 80% of sex­u­ally ac­tive peo­ple will get an HPV in­fec­tion dur­ing their life. Around 9 000 new cer­vi­cal cancer cases are di­ag­nosed in South­ern Africa per year, with an es­ti­mated age-stan­dard­ized in­ci­dence rate of 31.5 per 100 000 women.

The high preva­lence of HIV in­fec­tion, late ini­ti­a­tion of Highly Ac­tive An­tiretro­vi­ral Ther­apy (HAART), un­screened pop­u­la­tion and the high in­ci­dence of cer­vi­cal cancer all sug­gest that HPV in­fec­tions and pre­cur­sors to cer­vi­cal cancer are both un­usu­ally com­mon among South­ern African women, and may be on the in­crease.

“Cer­vi­cal cancer is the only type of cancer that is 100% pre­ventable,” said Cllr Mpho Pha­latse, Mem­ber of the May­oral Com­mit­tee for Health and So­cial De­vel­op­ment.

Although cer­vi­cal cancer is pre­ventable and treat­able, glob­ally nearly 500 000 women suf­fer from the dis­ease ev­ery year, and more than 270 000 die. About 80% of these deaths oc­cur in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries, where cer­vi­cal cancer is now the lead­ing cause of cancer-re­lated death among women.

Pri­mary pre­ven­tion through vac­ci­na­tion against the virus stops the dis­ease be­fore it can start. How­ever, vac­ci­na­tion takes decades to im­pact. The World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion (WHO) es­ti­mates the num­ber of women with cer­vi­cal cancer will dou­ble by 2020, even with vac­ci­na­tion.

Par­ents and care givers will re­ceive the con­sent forms from schools which should be signed and re­turned to the schools. No leaner will be vac­ci­nated with­out parental con­sent.

MMC Pha­latse en­cour­aged all par­ents and care­givers to as­sist health work­ers by sign­ing con­sent forms that will al­low the health work­ers to ad­min­is­ter the vac­cine to fe­male learn­ers.

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