The national HPV vaccination campaign is back! This year’s campaign will take place from 12 February to 27 March in all provinces.The campaign which is aimed at protecting girls from getting cervical cancer caused by Human Papilloma Virus, targets girls in Grade Four who are 9 years and older.
There is evidence that suggests that certain types of HPV are causally associated with cervical cancer with at least 99% of cervical cancer having detected HPV DNA. HPV-16 and HPV-18 are found to cause over 70% of the cervical cancer cases. All these HPV types are vaccine-preventable. The World Health Organisation has recommended vaccinating sexually naïve girls aged between 9 to 13 years. Introducing the HPV vaccine presents an opportunity for South Africa to make long term savings and address health inequalities.
Minister of Health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi announced in 2013 in his budget speech that SA will introduce the HPV vaccine to grade 4 girls in quintile 1 to 4 schools in 2014.