Government is set to adopt a new cervical cancer vaccine called the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) that is expected to reduce the number of women who succumb to the disease.The Ministry of Health and Child Welfare is already in the process of developing a policy as to how the new vaccine is going to be administered as well as the relevant registration.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, Retired Brigadier Dr Gerald Gwinji said ideally the vaccine should be given before the first sexual contact, especially to adolescent girls.
Dr Gwinji said but when the vaccine is introduced in the country, even those who are sexually active will be vaccinated.
The vaccine has since been introduced in many countries around the world including neighboring South Africa, and Dr Gwinji expressed optimism that before two years, it will be available locally.
Cervical cancer is the most common type of cancer among women the world over and the HPV virus has been found to be a leading cause of cervical cancer in Zimbabwe.
At the moment the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare is relying on screening, which allows early detection of pre-cancerous cells and diagnosis at early stages.
These methods have however proven to be less effective as some women are getting diagnosed late, when the cancer will have progressed.
Observers have also noted that massive health education campaigns would need to be carried out around the country to familiarise people with the vaccine, which has since been scientifically proven to reduce possibilities of the disease.