Rwanda is the first country in Africa to implement a cervical cancer prevention programme in the entire country.
The Cervical Cancer campaign vaccination program was recently launched in Rwanda for girls between the ages of 11 and 15 years. Women aged 35 to 45 years will also be screened and treated against Cervical Cancer later.
On Tuesday, April 26th, 2011, the First Lady Jeannette Kagame launched the first cervical cancer prevention program in Rwanda. The Ministry of Health together with Health centers across the country travelled to schools and immunized a number of girls. Sensitization programs are also being carried out to enlighten women about cervical cancer and its treatment.
The fact that 275,000 women die from cervical cancer every year is daunting.
Statistics from the World Health Organisation say cervical cancer is prevalent in developing countries where the death toll is likely to rise to 474,000 women a year by 2030, 95 percent of whom will be in the developing world.
“Over eighty-five percent of cervical cancer cases occur in the world’s poorest countries, having an impact on the women affected, their families and their communities,” said Mark Feinberg, Chief Public Health and Science officer at Merck Vaccines.
Merck will donate more than 2 million doses of the vaccination for the first three years while Qiagen will contribute 250,000 of its DNA-based HPV screening tests for women ages 35 to 45.
Through vaccination, screening and sensitization, the programme will help to cure cervical cancer victims and prevent it as well.
As a result, several cases of Cervical Cancer are expected to reduce or be totally kicked out of the country if people make use of the vaccination, screening and treatment.
The programme is also going to give the Rwandan woman a chance to live their lives without worrying about the deadly illness.
Women all over the country are going to be sensitized about how to prevent this disease and how to deal with it incase one is already suffering from it.
Through this programme, Rwanda will also gain publicity world wide and probably open doors for more such opportunities and donations in different sectors that will improve the welfare of the people.
Let’s embrace this blessing, ensure that the girl child is vaccinated, treat the infected and sensitize those that don’t know about this fatal illness.