Saturday, November 03, 2007
Uganda:More Women die from Cervical Cancer
Ignorance, stigmatization and lack of information have resulted to an increase in cervical cancer deaths in Uganda, according to a recent research conducted at Mulago National Referral hospital.

"The upward trend originates from irregular checkups of women, stigmatization, and lack of information about causes of the disease and the nature of cervical cancer symptoms that are manifested when it is late" the report reads.

The research further shows that cervical cancer accounts for over 80% of the cancer related deaths in women with the most affected being those between 31-50 years is 60%; 4%, 21-30 years; 20%, 51-60 years; 8% 61-70 years; and 8%, 70 years.

Cervical Cancer is caused by infection of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) that is sexually transmitted. Though HPV has more than 40 types, the evident types in Uganda are HPV 16 and HPV 18.

HPV develops to Cervical Cancer in a period of 10-15 years.

It is estimated that, cervical cancer affects an estimate of 490,000 women worldwide each year and leads more than 270,000 deaths annually, about 85% of which are in developing countries.

In related developments, Uganda is to implement a two-year HPV vaccine demonstration in two districts in 2008 and 2009.

The pilot project targets girls aged 10-13 years as a preventive measure for five years against HPV that leads to cervical cancer.

Dr. Robin LaMontagne, PATH Country director, says, “We choose age group 10-13 years, because most are not yet subjected to sexual debut and that is where benefit of such interventions can be witnessed.”

According to World Health Organisation, HPV vaccines have shown excellent efficacy against persistent HPV infections mainly among women not exposed to the virus.

Dr. Anthony Mbonye, Assistant Commissioner, Reproductive Health, Ministry of Health, says, “After the pilot project, HPV Vaccine will be included in the routine immunisation program.”

So far, HPV vaccine pilot projects are conducted in Peru and Vietnam.

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