Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination of adolescents in the South African private health sector: Lessons from the HPV demonstration project in KwaZulu-Natal
In South Africa (SA), >4 000 women die annually of cervical cancer, a disease caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Infections caused by certain genotypes of HPV increase the risk of cervical cancer. HIV-infected women in particular are more likely to have persistent HPV infection, with higher-risk genotypes. In SA, two vaccines (HPV quadrivalent (types 6, 11, 16, and 18) vaccine, recombinant (Gardasil) and HPV bivalent (types 16 and 18) vaccine, recombinant (Cervarix)) are currently registered for the prevention of HPV-related disease. In the past, there have been significant challenges to achieving high coverage and uptake of vaccination – contributory factors include cost and lack of awareness. An HPV demonstration project among schoolgirls in rural KwaZulu-Natal showed that high vaccine uptake is achievable. In 2014, the National Department of Health launched the national HPV vaccination programme among female learners attending public schools. Awareness of HPV vaccination among healthcare providers, education of parents, teachers and learners, and avoidance of missed opportunities for vaccination are vital to the success of the programme. Primary healthcare practitioners may play an important role in cervical cancer prevention by identifying and offering vaccination to girls who miss the opportunity to be vaccinated at school. HPV vaccination should be considered as one arm of a comprehensive programme of cervical cancer prevention and control.
Copyright remains in the Author’s name. The work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial Works License. Authors are required to complete and sign an Author Agreement form that outlines Author and Publisher rights and terms of publication. The Agreement form should be uploaded along with other submissions files and any submission will be considered incomplete without it [forthcoming].
Material submitted for publication in the SAMJ is accepted provided it has not been published or submitted for publication elsewhere. Please inform the editorial team if the main findings of your paper have been presented at a conference and published in abstract form, to avoid copyright infringement. The SAMJ does not hold itself responsible for statements made by the authors.
Previously published images
If an image/figure has been previously published, permission to reproduce or alter it must be obtained by the authors from the original publisher and the figure legend must give full credit to the original source. This credit should be accompanied by a letter indicating that permission to reproduce the image has been granted to the author/s. This letter should be uploaded as a supplementary file during submission.