Published: 20 August 2015
Western Cape Government Health believes in the importance of improving women’s health. Therefore the second round of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination will be rolled out from 11 August to 4 September 2015. The campaign, which will bear its fruits in two to four decades when the first recipients of the vaccine are adults, hopes to significantly reduce the prevalence of cervical cancer in South African women. The vaccine will be rolled out to all public schools across the Western Cape with the aim of vaccina-ting 100% of eligible girls. All grade 4 girls, who are nine (9) years and older are eligible to receive the vaccination. Those girls who were not yet nine (9) years old during the first round in March 2015, or did not return the signed consent form to their school, will now also have the opportunity to receive the first dose of the vaccination. The vaccination is administered through a professional team who will visit all public and special schools in the province. It is administered in two doses; learners who will receive their first dose during this round must ensure that they receive the second dose during 2016. The vaccination is free and all parents need to do is sign and return the consent form to allow their daughter to receive the vaccination. Western Cape Minister of Health, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, stated: ‘It is imperative that we encourage parents to vaccinate their daughters.
Maternal-and child health forms part of the quadruple burden of disease. The focus is prevention and promotion rather than curative. That is why we appeal to all grade 4 girls to inform their parents, guardians and extended families that the vaccination is available.’ Cervical cancer is the second most prevalent cancer in South African women; approximately 3 000 women die annually due to cervical cancer related complications. The HPV vaccine can help to protect girls against the most common cancer-causing viruses, HPV strain 16 and 18. Cervarix®, the vaccine that is used in South Africa contains HPV strain 16 and 18 antigens and has been proven to be effective in preventing cervical cancer. The vaccination will not only prevent girls from contracting cervical cancer later in life, it will also spare them the emotional and physical pain that is often common with cervical cancer and the treatment thereof. This vaccination is an investment in the future health of South African women. Parents of grade 4 girls are reminded to submit their signed consent forms to their school to reduce their daughter’s chance of contracting cervical cancer/to ensure that their daughter is immunised against HPV.
Further information: Natasha Peterson: 028-212-1524 or 082-313-7487 or Natasha.Peterson@westerncape.gov.za
(Spokesperson: Western Cape Government: Health)