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The cervical cancer vaccine in Kenya

Kiiru Benjamin Kiiru

The cervical cancer vaccine in Kenya and the politics that stands on its way.
The GAVI-Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations has funded and rolled out a multi billion shillings cervical cancer vaccinations programme in our beloved country for our beloved mothers sisters and daughters.
HPV-human papillomavirus according to WHO is a significant source of morbidity and mortality in Kenya and world wide.High risk oncogenic HPV types( including HPV 16 and HPV 18) are associated with 99.7% of all cervical cancers as well as low grade intra epithelical lesions (HSIL) and abdominal papanicolaou (PAP) test results which carry high healthcare costs and psychosocial morbidity.
Low risk HPV types (HPV 6 and HPV 11) are responsible for additional abnormal pap test results as well as almost all cases of genital warts.HPV is so common that half of all sexually active adults will be infected in their lifetime although young sexually active women bear the brunt of both infection and clinical complications.
The Kenya church led by the Catholic have put up a war against the use of the new vaccine in Kenya and is advising its followers to shun it for the risks and side effects.the church as faithful,fearful and ‘caring’ has forgotten that according to people who know about health,the WHO,still maintain that cervical cancer is still the second most frequent cancer among women in Kenya and an estimated not less than 39% of women in general population are most likely to harbour a cervical HPV infection at any given time.
Globally its estimated that cancer causes more deaths than malaria and TB combined and 70% of global cancer burden is in LMIC’s (low and middle income countries) eg Kenya while 30% of cancers are curable if detected early.
The government and all health sector players have not yet given this problem its deserved publicity so the church in its mis information is bound to convince alot more of its flock on avoiding this important jab.cancer still ranks 3rd highest cause of morbidity in Kenya with 7% deaths per year and an estimated 39000 new cases of new cancer cases recorded each year while 60% of Kenyans affected by cancer are below 70years old with the following rankings:
women>breast-34 per 100000,cervical-25per 100000.
Men>prostate-17 per 100000,esophageal-9 per 100000.
In this age and time,kenya has only four radiation centers all based in Nairobi with each in KNH,MP.SHAH,NAIROBI HOSPITAL and the AGHA KHAN.
The Kenya Church with all its love for us should then teach us not to overlook danger and again to against all be hopeful.it should also let the followers choose freely what to do about their health and what to partake or not to.infact not only in health and medicinal matters do we have to risk on daily basis.life in general is a risky business.an adventure of making the heart happy which is love is risky,walking the street is also risky and using autos is more risky but we dwell in faith and put our best feet forward towards life.World Health Organisation,the health experts further record that 60% of women diagnosed with cervical cancer die every year thus approximately 10.3 million women aged above 15years are at risk of developing the disease.HPV is here to crush those figures.take medicine though you may die,believe in in yourself and fail,but never say i never tried.

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