Cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer among women aged 15 to 44 years in South Africa. But did you know that you can prevent cervical cancer by getting the HPV vaccine?
HPV (human papillomavirus) is a common sexually transmitted infection, which affects most people at some point in their lives. But there is a vaccine that can prevent health problems associated with HPV.
Both women and men can get HPV. Sexual transmission is the most common way of getting it, but it can also be transmitted through any form of skin-to-skin contact and from mother to child. HPV can be passed even when an infected person has no signs or symptoms. The best way to eradicate the spread of HPV before the chance of infection is through vaccination.
The vaccine is non-infectious, and you will not get HPV from the vaccine. It is safe and most effective when provided from age nine or before girls become sexually active. In South Africa, the HPV vaccination was approved by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority in 2008 for its efficacy and safety.
The Western Cape Department of Health, together with the Western Cape Education Department, has introduced bi-annual HPV vaccination campaigns in schools as part of the Integrated School Health Programme. Nurses visit public schools to vaccinate Grade 5 girls who have received the necessary consent from a parent or guardian, in a bid to help prevent cervical cancer.
For more information, please contact us on 0860 142 142 or www.westerncape.gov.za
The HPV vaccine offers us hope for a world free from cervical cancer. #VaccinesWorkWC
Supplied by the Western Cape Government