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Human papillomavirus is a common viral infection that affects the reproductive system in men and women of reproductive age. HPV is associated with cervical cancer and other cancers affecting the penis, anus, vulva and vagina.
However, the single shot of the HPV vaccine will be administered only to those who are HIV negative, those within reproductive age bracket and have had less than five sexual partners in their lifetime.
A silver lining has been discovered by Kenyan women researchers in the fight against cervical cancer. The researchers have released a single-shot vaccine against cervical cancer.
The team have been researching the vaccine for the past three years and have discovered that a single shot of the Human Papillomavirus vaccine is effective in fighting against cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer is currently the leading cause of death in women as about 9 women die due to the disease per day.
The researchers have been following the case for three years and have discovered that the HPV vaccine protects women from different strains of the virus. This discovery is a game-changer as it means that HPV infections that are largely attributed to cervical cancer will be reduced substantially.
Professor Sam Kariuki, acting director-general KEMRI said that the findings will have a high impact on health intervention because it is within our reach.
The team of researchers compromised of Dr Nelly Mugo, Dr Maricianah Onono, Prof Elizabeth Bukusi, Dr Betty Njoroge and Prof Ruanne Barnabas of global health at the University of Washington.
Barnabas noted that the single-dose efficacy works as multiple doses and that the discovery will help WHO attain its goal of having girls 15 years old get vaccinated against Human Papillomavirus by 2030.
If the Human Papillomavirus single-shot vaccine is approved for use, it will simplify the logistics of cervical cancer and reduce costs.
HPV vaccine program rollout here in Kenya has faced many challenges like in other African countries. They include vaccine delivery, low uptake and the global shortage of HPV vaccine.
Prof Kariuki said that KEMRI will work with the Ministry of Health and the women researchers in ensuring that the vaccine is administered to all females within the reproductive age bracket.