Cervical cancer vaccine launched
Wednesday, 1st October, 2008

By Carol Kezaabu

A Cervical cancer vaccine, Cervarix, was recently launched at the Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a research-based pharmaceutical company, and the health ministry.

Cervical cancer consists of abnormal cell growth in the cervix and it is mainly caused by the Human Papilloma virus (HPV).

Cervarix provides protection against pre-cancerous lesions caused by HPV 16 and 18, which are responsible for 71% of cervical cancer cases in Uganda.

Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women with 500,000 new cases occurring each year worldwide.

It is estimated that cervical cancer accounts for 40% of all cancers in Uganda.

The vaccine is aimed at women between 10 and 45 years in Uganda.

Patrick Abelle, the vaccines manager of GSK in East Africa, said vaccinated women develop antibodies which neutralise the HPV to prevent its entry into the cervical cells.

Cervarix has been tested on about 16,000 subjects and is well tolerated with mild to moderate reactions. It has already been approved in over 60 countries.

Dr. Pius Okong said cervical cancer patients in Uganda face a higher incidence of mortality than patients in other countries due to lack of resources to detect and treat it early.

The cost of Cervarix is high for the ordinary Ugandan. A person is required to take three doses and each dose costs sh164,000.

Cervarix use has already started in two trial districts of Nakasongola and Ibanda to see how it can be best delivered to the rest of the country.

Jean-Louis Kayitenkore
Procurement Consultant
Gsm:  +250-08470205
Home: +250-55104140
P.O. Box 3867
East Africa
Blog: http://www.cepgl.blogspot.com
Skype ID : Kayisa66

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