The rates of cervical cancer deaths in low- and middle-income countries are rising. Cervical cancer prevention should therefore be addressed as part of the aims of the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 to 2035. One of the most important recent advances in cervical cancer prevention is the prevention of hrHPV infection through vaccination. HPV vaccination programmes will have the most significant impact in countries like South Africa with a high HPV prevalence, low compliance to screening, high lost to follow up, and limited resources for management of women with HPV associated precancerous lesions or cancer. How far is South Africa with the rollout? And what will the impact of HPV vaccination be?
Cervical cancer will develop in one out of every 35 South African women and it is the leading cause of cancer deaths amongst South African women. Approximately nine South African women die every day from cervical cancer. The aim of this opinion piece is to highlight the fact that the cervical screening does not seems to work in South Africa (low coverage) and therefore vaccination against Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which is causing cervical cancer, should not be postponed anymore, in order to save lives.
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