20 May 2019

Cervical cancer vaccine rolled out in Solomon Islands

1:29 pm on 20 May 2019

A vaccination programme to protect women from cervical cancer is being launched in Solomon Islands this month by the children's charity UNICEF.

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Photo: GARO / Phanie

The head of UNICEF Pacific said Human Papilloma Viruses were extremely common worldwide, they are sexually acquired and can cause cervical cancer.

Sheldon Yett said HPV vaccines work best if administered prior to exposure to the virus.

He said the aim is to reach all girls in Solomon Islands between the ages of 9 and 14 to protect them before they become sexually active.

"Cervical cancer and HPV virus, which is one of the direct causes of the cancer, is one of the leading killers of women. One of the most common cancers in the world. And a cancer that is super common in the Western Pacific.

"So this is extremely important and an extremely essential strategy to protect young womens' lives."

Sheldon Yett said each girl will receive two immunisations one year apart, to give the most effective protection from cervical cancer.

He says the community has been very supportive of the programme.