NPHCDA, Kwara Gov’t Kick Off HPV Vaccination

NPHCDA, Kwara Gov't Kick Off HPV Vaccination

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) in partnership with the Kwara State government, on Monday, flagged off the introduction of free Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine against cervical cancer among school children in the state.

At the rollout of the HPV vaccine in Ilorin, the state capital, the executive director and chief executive officer of the NPHCDA, Dr. Muyi Aina, said that
cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women globally and the second most common cancer affecting women in Nigeria.

A total of 787 school children were vaccinated at the event.

Aina, who was represented by Sheu Hassan, said that the HPV vaccine is a very important vaccine, adding that, “it prevents the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is the most common viral infection of the reproductive tract and causes more than 95 per cent of cases of cervical cancer.”

He said that all eligible girls between the ages of 9-14 years across 193 wards in the 16 local government areas of Kwara State will be vaccinated against cervical cancer during the five-day programme.

“I believe that together, we will achieve the goal of this exercise. At least 80% eligible girls aged 9 to 14 years will be reached during the five days intensification, after which the HPV vaccines will be accessed by our girls through routine immunization services in our PHC facilities.

“Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women globally and the second most common cancer affecting women in Nigeria. It is estimated that 604,000 cases with 342,000 deaths occurred globally in 2020, and an estimated 12,075 cases and 7,968 deaths were recorded in Nigeria,” he stated.

The NPHCDA boss, who said that the HPV vaccine was free, safe, and effective, urged stakeholders to mobilise family members, friends, and communities to ensure that all eligible girls get vaccinated.

“Let me thank and appreciate the Kwara State Government for its support in strengthening PHC in the state. I want to specially thank Her Excellency Professor Olufolake AbdulRazaq for her role in the fight against cervical cancer.

“HPV vaccines with corresponding devices and operational funds have
been provided to the states to support this exercise. I must thank his Excellency, the governor of Kwara state, for his regular release of counterparts’ funds to support PHC activities, including the HPV introduction.

“Your support, that of the Governors Wives forum, wives of LGA chairmen, traditional/religious leaders, Civil Society Organizations, Women groups, media, and other relevant stakeholders remain paramount to the success of the HPVV introduction and other PHC activities.

“The NPHCDA remains committed to collaborating with the sub-national levels to strengthen routine immunization and other PHC services for better health for all,” Aina added.

In her remarks, the wife of the Kwara State governor, Ambassador Olufolake AbdulRazaq, assured of the efficacy of the vaccine, while she charged stakeholders to dispel negative rumours and misconception against the HPV vaccines.

“Today’s event set the tone for an ambitious, inclusive strategy to accelerate eliminating cervical cancer as a public health concern. Elimination is within the reach of all hence we in Kwara are committed to towing this path to ensure that we seize the opportunities that are within our reach now, so that our girls will live free of this disease.

“In complementing the efforts that culminated in incorporating the HPV vaccine into the National routine immunization schedule and today’s roll out however, I urge key stakeholders in respective communities to continue to amplify awareness and sensitization on benefits of presenting eligible children for the vaccine.

“This no doubt will entail engagements with our communities, traditional and religious institutions to educate, inform, and dispel any misconceptions surrounding the HPV vaccine,” the Kwara State First Lady added.

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