Home » Cervical cancer: Kwara to vaccinate over 300,000 girls against HPV by May 27 – Official

Cervical cancer: Kwara to vaccinate over 300,000 girls against HPV by May 27 – Official

by Editor

By Fatima Mohammed-Lawal

The Kwara Government will on May 27th vaccinate about 311,000 girls between the ages of nine and 14, against Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).

Dr. Michael Oguntoye, the Director, at the Kwara State Primary Healthcare Development Agency stated this in Ilorin on the sidelines of the State Engagement with Media Stakeholders for the Introduction of HPV vaccine.

The programme was implemented by John Snow Incorporated, (JSI), and supported by the HPV Vaccine Acceleration Programme Partners Initiative (HAPPI) Consortium, and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Oguntoye added the vaccine, initiated by the Federal Government is targeting school girls, as well as out of school girls ages nine to 14 years.

According to him, the Kwara Frist Lady, Dr Olufolake AbdulRazaq, will flag-off the HPV vaccine campaign.

“The HPV vaccine will be available across all PHCs facilities in the state, and the target audience are school girls and out of school gilrs between nine and 14,” he said.

Oguntoye explained that the vaccine is safe and efficacious, adding that it is not an attempt to reduce population or family planning strategy.

In her presentation, Dr Dupe Shittu, the Social Mobilization Officer, Kwara State Primary Healthcare Development Agency described HPV as a group of viruses that can infect the genital areas of both men and women.

She explained that while many HPV infections go away on their own, certain strains of the virus can lead to more serious health issues.

“One of the most concerning outcomes of persistent HPV infection is cervical cancer.

“Cervical cancer affects women globally, and sadly, Nigeria is no exception. Our nation carries a heavy burden of cervical cancer cases, impacting the lives of our mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives,” she said.

The expert stated that Nigeria has one of the highest rates of cervical cancer incidence in the world.

She added that this devastating disease not only affects the physical health of women but also takes a toll on families, communities, and our society as a whole.

Shittu submitted that the most common mode of transmission is through sexual intercourse, including vaginal, anal, and oral sex.

“The virus can be passed from one person to another even if there are no visible signs of infection or symptoms,” she said.

Also speaking, Mr Kannath Ibrahim, the Social and Behavioural Change Communication Officer of JSI explained that rumours typically originates from an information void, characterized by a lack of information or insufficient details.

He spoke on the topic: “Combating Misinformation, Myths, Debunking and Pre-Bunking Rumours, Prevalent, Rumours and Misconception”.

Ibrahim explained that rumours, misinformation and concern, when unchecked or addressed lead to misinformation.

He advised newsmen to verify and disseminate the right information to the public.

In her presentation, Dr. Mary Okpodu, a Media Consultant, enjoined media to be ethical in their reportage.

Okpodu who spoke on: “Ethical Reportage on Cervical Cancer”, said media reports must adhere to moral principles, professional standards, and societal values.

She enjoined newsmen to report in a truthful, fair, and responsible manner while considering the potential impact on individuals, communities, and society as a whole.

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