Grade four girls across the Flagstaff circuit
in the Eastern Cape are being vaccinated for the second round against the human papillomavirus (HPV) after the departments of health and education launched
the HPV vaccination campaign.
school health programme
According to health promoters from
Lusikisiki, more than six schools in Flagstaff will see young girls vaccinated to
protect them from getting cervical cancer caused by HPV.
The 2018 national vaccination campaign for
the second round for girls in grade four who are nine years and older takes place until
September. The HPV vaccine presents an opportunity for South Africa to address
Minister of Health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi announced in 2013
that SA will introduce the HPV vaccine to grade four girls as part of the integrated
school health programme. The vaccine is most effective in young girls and the
department identified grade four as the most suitable grade to start the
ABC of HPV
What is HPV?
HPV is a very common virus that infects
most people at same time in their lives. Some of the virus can affect cells
that could lead to cancer.
Who can get HPV?
Anyone who is sexually active can get HPV (women
and men). A person who is infected with HPV can pass it on to his/her partner.
Why should girls be vaccinated against
The HPV vaccine is important to protect
against HPV infection that could lead to cervical cancer later in life.
What is cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer is a cancer that affects
the cervix, which is the lower part of womb. Cancer is when abnormal cells in
the body start to grow very quickly and cannot be controlled by normal body
How can you confirm if a person has
A special test called PSP smear is required
to detect if a person has early signs of developing cervical cancer and cells
from cervix are collected and sent to laboratory for testing.
Human papillomavirus (HPV):
• Is a very common infection
• Has no visible symptoms
• Is most likely to infect adolescent girls
and young women
• Is transmitted during sexual activity
• Prevents infection from HPV strains which
cause most cervical cancer
• Is safe and effective
• Has been used in many countries
HPV vaccine cannot:
• Treat or cure HPV infection
• Treat or cure cervical cancer
• Prevent or treat (HIV) infection
• Prevent or end pregnancy. – Health-e
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