FG shifts cervical cancer vaccination for girls

The Federal Government has postponed the introduction of the Human Papillomavirus Vaccine earlier scheduled for September 25 to October 24.

The Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, disclosed this to The PUNCH on Sunday.

The FG had scheduled September 25 (today) for the introduction of the HPV vaccine for girls of ages nine to 15, to prevent cervical cancer.

The introduction of the vaccine was scheduled to kick off in 16 states – Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Enugu, FCT, Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi, Lagos, Nasarawa, Ogun, Osun, and Taraba.

Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the cells of the cervix. Various strains of the HPV, a sexually transmitted infection, play a role in causing most cervical cancer.

The HPV vaccine has the potential to prevent more than 90 per cent of HPV-attributable cancers.

In Nigeria, an estimated 14,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and 7,968 women die from the disease every year.

However, Dr Shuaib told our correspondent in a chat on Sunday that the HPV vaccination meant to commence Monday (today) has been postponed to October 24, 2023.

He said the introduction of the vaccine was postponed to create more awareness of the vaccine.

He said, “The states were not fully ready to launch. In most launch states, there was a need to create more awareness and demand for the vaccine.”

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Government said it would announce a new date for the introduction of the HPV vaccine campaign scheduled for Monday (today) for logistics reasons as informed by the Federal Ministry of Health

The Lagos State Primary Health Care Board disclosed this in a statement signed by its Deputy Director of Public Affairs, Filade Olumide.

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