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Student & Alumni Achievements

Student & Alumni Achievements

Rutgers: Alumna Explores Cervical Cancer Prevention Through HPV Vaccination in Ethiopia

Rutgers School of Public Health alumna, Ms. Kelly Lenahan, found that implementation of a population-based human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination program in Ethiopia will lead to lower HPV infections, thereby reducing cervical cancer risk and burden.

Ms. Lenahan, along with Rutgers University and SUNY Downstate Colleagues, calculated HPV immunity in women who acquired 1 dose, 2 doses, and 3 doses of the HPV vaccine.

They found that when HPV vaccination rates range from 80-99 percent, between 5,035 and 6,231 cases of cervical cancer may be prevented each year. Thus, implementing a population-based HPV vaccination program in Ethiopia will lead to lower HPV infections, thereby reducing cervical cancer risk and burden.

“HPV causes 99 percent of cervical cancers, which is the second most common cancer in women in Ethiopia, with 70 percent of those diagnosed dying from the disease,” said Ms. Lenahan. “More cancer cases are averted with higher vaccination rates in the population. It is important to vaccinate women at a younger age to protect against HPV infections.”

Ms. Lenahan received her MPH from the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology in 2019. She is currently the manager of Scientific and Health Policy Initiatives as ISPOR, the Professional Society for Health Economics and Outcomes Research.

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