The Addis Ababa Health Bureau Monday announced the launching of Anti Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination across all schools and health centers in Addis Ababa.
The vaccine will primarily be delivered to 14 year old girls to help them prevent cervical cancer which is the deadly disease next to breast cancer in Ethiopia.
“Eligible girls in both private and public schools will be vaccinated. Out of school girls will be able to access the vaccine at health centers in all 11 sub-cities of the capital,” head of the Bureau Dr. Yohannes Chala said in a briefing.
The HPV vaccine will be given for free and reportedly has minimal side effects. Treatment for cervical cancer is expensive for both the government and the family of the patient.
Ethiopia reports about 7,000 cases of cervical cancer and 5,000 deaths due to the disease every year.
Ethiopia has been vaccinating in a single age cohort (14 years old girls) due to a global anti HPV vaccine shortage.
The Bureau is set to reach up to 22,000 girls in five days campaign.