MoH partners manufacturing company to roll out vaccination programme
Managing Director of MSD South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, Zwelethu Bashman

MoH partners manufacturing company to roll out vaccination programme

The Ministry of Health is partnering a manufacturer and developer of oncology drugs for an impactful and effective rollout of Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination to offer protection against cervical cancer.


The HPV vaccination, according to health authorities, would be rolled out in October 2025. Based on the country’s population size, the manufacturer — MSD Company — is projecting to supply about two million doses of vaccine for the HPV vaccination programme that would be facilitated by GAVI Alliance, a public-private global health partnership, to increase access to immunisation in poor countries.

The Managing Director of MSD South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, Zwelethu Bashman, who disclosed this in an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra, said the intervention would include oncology medications, advocacy and healthcare education.

He said from engagement with officials of MOH, adolescents of nine to 14 years in the country had been targeted for the HPV vaccination programme, adding that the introduction of the vaccination programme would reduce the chances of cervical cancer cases in the country.

Health symposium

Mr Bashman spoke to the Daily Graphic on the sidelines of the Africa Health Business Women’s Symposium. The symposium was on the theme: ‘Establishing sustainability in cervical cancer prevention, screening and care in Ghana.”.

He lauded the government’s decision to introduce the vaccination programme next year. The MD of MSD South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa disclosed that out of the 26 countries in Africa that had active HPV vaccination programmes, 24 used their products, pointing out that the company vaccinated approximately 12 million girls per year on the continent. 

Step up education

Touching on cancers, Mr Bashman said breast cancer and cervical cancer were the two biggest cancers that affected women on the continent, therefore if the continent was able to deal with them effectively, it would bring lots of benefits in terms of health and wealth to females.

He said from experiences they had seen from other countries, they were aware some people had misconceptions about vaccines, and therefore, urged the government to, in the period leading to the rollout of the HPV vaccination in the country next year, to monitor people’s perceptions on social media regarding vaccines in general and deal with them directly and factually.

He said the MOH should also engage early with religious, cultural and community leaders as well as educators about the impact HPV could have on their wives and children.

Cervical cancer

Cervical cancer is a cancer that starts in the cells of the cervix. The cervix is the lower, narrow end of the uterus (womb). It is the second leading cause of cancer in women after breast cancer.

Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women in Ghana. A total of 2,799 women in Ghana were diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2020 with 1,699 dying in the same year.

According to Ghana’s cervical cancer profile on the WHO site, as of 2021, fewer than one in 10 women had been screened for cervical cancer in the last five years.

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