Kenyans will start enjoying the fruits of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Vaccine in 20 years, according to a gynaecologist.
The medic said that since the vaccine is being issued to 10-year-old school girls, the effects will be seen when they are about 30 years old, or in the year 2040.
“The vaccine is used for prevention from diseases like cervical cancer, which is common in women from the age of 30. Therefore, we will still have reported cases for now,” said Dr Musimbi Soita, a consulting gynaecologist at Pwani Gyno Center.
“I cannot say we will see any changes for now. That will be in years to come.”
He spoke on Monday in Mombasa County during the 9th annual symposium of the Kenya Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society (KOGS).
President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the vaccine in Mombasa last week, placing Kenya in a list of 10 other African countries.
The President that the vaccine’s introduction would lead to a decline in the number of new cancer cases and deaths.
He said it would be available in public, private, faith based and non-governmental health facilities across the country.
Cervical cancer is the second leading cause of cancer among women and the leading cause of female cancer deaths in Sub-Saharan Africa.
According to the World Health Organization, virtually all cervical cancer cases (99 per cent) are linked to genital infections with HPV as the most common viral infection of the reproductive tract.
In 2018, there were 5,250 cases of cervical cancer and 3,286 deaths in Kenya, according to the Ministry of Health. This equates to nine deaths per day, with the number of cases on the rise.
The gynaecologist further urged women to get the services from recognised health facilities in order to prevent maternal deaths.
Bleeding in pregnancy, increased cases of high blood pressure and the burden of caesarean sections are among the emerging issues in female reproductive health.
“To prevent this from happening, women should avoid untrained doctors and seek medical help in good time,” said Dr Soita.
He noted delayed medical attention for symptoms such as bleeding as one of the causes of maternal deaths.
He said, however, that the number of cases had declined.