The government of Zimbabwe have launched the National Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination programme in the provincial city of Mutare in eastern Zimbabwe, towards curbing cases of cervical cancer in the country.
The vaccination programme, launched by the First lady Auxilia Mnangagwa, is targeted to reach out to over 800,000 girls aged between 10 and 14, the state-controlled Herald newspaper reported Thursday.
The programmed is expected to run from May 14 to 18 in all schools and thereafter, all girls in Grade 5 or aged around 10 years will be vaccinated annually.
Cervical cancer accounts for one-third of all cancer cases in the country and is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among Zimbabwean women.
Official statistics indicate that an estimated 2,270 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in Zimbabwe annually with the mortality rate of 64 percent.
Mnangagwa urged parents and guardians to allow their daughters to access the new vaccine and protect them from cervical cancer.