Cancer cells under a microscope
Cancer cells under a microscope

The Zimbabwe government on Wednesday launched the National Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination program in the provincial city of Mutare in eastern Zimbabwe in a bid to curb cases of cervical cancer in the country.

The vaccination program, launched by the First lady Auxilia Mnangagwa, is expected to benefit over 800,000 girls aged between 10 and 14, the state-controlled Herald newspaper reported Thursday.

The program will run from May 14-18 2018 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 Zimbabwe and is the leading cause of cancer death among Zimbabwean women.

The First Lady urged parents and guardians to allow their daughters to access the new vaccine and protect them from cervical cancer.

Official statistics indicate that an estimated 2,270 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in Zimbabwe annually with the mortality rate of 64 percent. Enditem

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