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Merck, Qiagen Begin Rwandan Cervical-Cancer Program, Times Says

April 26 (Bloomberg) -- Merck & Co. and Qiagen NV will fund a program in Rwanda to screen and vaccinate women against cervical cancer, the New Times reported, citing Agnes Binagwaho, permanent secretary in the Health Ministry.

Merck will provide more than 2 million doses of its Gardasil vaccine to the government at no charge, while Qiagen will deliver 250,000 Human Papilloma Virus screening tests to the state, the Kigali-based newspaper said.

A nationwide program is targeting all women in the East African nation within the next three years, it said.

Cervical cancer is the most common cancer among Rwandan women and the program is the first of its kind on the continent, the newspaper cited Binagwaho as saying.

To contact the reporter on this story: Heather Murdock in Kigali via Nairobi at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Richardson at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net.

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