Kenya, an equatorial country in East Africa with a size similar to Spain has a population of 44.3 Million people of whom over 12 millions are women ages 15 years and older. 75% of the population live in rural areas.
Kenya is considered one of the most stable countries in the East African/horn of Africa region.. Although industrially the most developed country ( largest most diversified economy) in East Africa, 45% of the population live below the extreme poverty line (less than 1.25USD/d).
The life expectancy at birth (61yrs) has increased by 9 year(s) over the period of 2000-2012.
The burden of communicable disease is high. The adult HIV prevalence is estimated to be 6.1%. HIV is responsible for 29% of all deaths. Other high burden infectious diseases include Tuberculosis, responsible for 14% of deaths, and malaria, the main killer among the under 5 population, but also responsible for 30% of out-patient morbidity.
Non-communicable diseases are on the rise, with cardiovascular diseases and cancer being the 2nd and 3rd leading causes of death. Current estimates rank cervical cancer as the most common cancer in women. About 5000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year, of which most will die from the disease within a year.
About 38.8% of the general population is estimated to harbor HPV infection at a given time (WHO/ICO Information Centre on HPV and Cervical Cancer (HPV Information Centre) 2010).
The Kenyan Ministry of Health recognizes the inaccessibility of cytology based screening (Pap test) which remains opportunistic and only in private facilities. To address the need for screening, the ministry of health prioritizes the use of the cheap and simple visual inspection (VIA) at level three facilities (health centers) which are manned by nurses and linked to level 4 facilities (district hospitals) as the referral hospitals which are expected to have capacity for cryosurgery. However, no national screening program has been developed and realized yet to exceed screening coverage beyond regional activities and services in HIV clinics. Primary prevention in form HPV vaccines for adolescent girls is a major aim in the fight against cervical cancer. Both HPV vaccines are licensed in Kenya, but by far not accessible for the vast majority of girls. A vaccine campaign by the GAVI Alliance, a public-private partnership for the implementation and financing of vaccines in developing counties, is however intending covering Kenya the next years. According to WHO cervical cancer screening coverage is 3.2% of women 18 to 69.