By Waturi Nguyo
Early sex among teens in the Coastal region is the leading cause of cervical cancer in the group. This is according to Kwale County nursing officer Edward Mumbo.
Speaking to the Star Newspaper, Mumbo says a big number of mothers under 25 years of age have been diagnosed with the disease adding that the majority have also been diagnosed with sexually transmitted infections.
Mumbo further revealed that a significant percentage of women who give birth in County public hospitals are teens below 19 years faulting parents for failure to educate their children on reproductive health and the dangers of premarital sex.
Cervical cancer is the second leading cause of death among women in low-income countries after breast cancer. Statistics from the WHO indicate that about 33 women in every 100,000 women in Kenya have cancer and 22 out of 100,000 die from the disease every year.
In late 2019, Kenya launched the HPV vaccine in the country targeting about 800,000 girls aged ten years. However, research has established that the program has faced challenges including refusal to take the vaccine especially in the Coastal and North Eastern regions where lack of knowledge on HPV infection and vaccination was found to be the biggest cause for vaccination refusal.