HPV Vaccine Scale-Up in Zambia
More than 290 million women have the human papillomavirus (HPV), which can lead to cervical cancer. More than 85% of cervical cancer cases and deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. Yet women in developing countries often lack access to the HPV vaccine and testing services. In 2013, Zambia, a country with high cervical cancer rates, began rolling out a program to administer the HPV vaccine to girls in primary schools across the country. Political support from the First Lady of Zambia and community outreach were used to engage parents and discuss the importance, safety, and effectiveness of the vaccine. Several other African countries, including Cameroon, Tanzania, Uganda, and South Africa, have since rolled out similar school-based programs.