Recommendations for cervical cancer prevention and control in Ghana: public education and human papillomavirus vaccination
Globally, cervical cancer is a major public health issue causing increasing morbidity and mortality especially in low and middle-income countries where preventive and control measures are lacking. In Ghana, it is the most common cancer among women. Approaches to reduce the incidence and mortality of the disease in Ghana have had little success due to lack of accurate data on the disease among other factors, to inform policies on prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment. Additionally, the lack of clear commitment, policy direction and resources has hindered
the scale-up of some of the initiatives implemented to curb the cervical cancer situation in Ghana. In this paper, we make recommendations on cervical cancer education and human papillomavirus vaccination. A collaborative approach is needed involving both private and government organizations, health professionals and the general public. Public education on cervical cancer and HPV vaccination needs to be delivered through a mixture of systems including both healthcare facilities and outreach programs, involving teachers, youth groups, community members and professional bodies. The vaccination of adolescents aged 10-14 years using the nonavalent HPV vaccine will be
important in reducing the incidence and mortality of cervical cancer in Ghana. The integration of public education on cervical cancer prevention, HPV vaccination and screening programs into both medical and public health services is critical in achieving high coverage of these programs.
Keywords: Cervical cancer, Education, HPV vaccination, Prevention, Ghana