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Lagos shifts introduction of HPV Vaccine



HPV vaccines

The Lagos State Government has postponed the introduction of the Human Papillomavirus Vaccine campaign earlier scheduled for Monday, September 25, 2023, for logistics reasons as informed by the Federal Ministry of Health.

This was announced by the state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, in a statement by Filade Olumide, Deputy Director, Public Affairs, LSPHCB, on Friday.

“The State Government regrets any inconveniences that may occur as a result of the postponement. As soon as a new date is communicated to Lagos, members of the public will be informed accordingly,” the statement quoted Abayomi.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Human Papillomavirus is a sexually transmitted disease that causes cervical cancer and other HPV-related diseases such as skin and vaginal warts.

About 19 per cent of women initiate sexual intercourse by age 15 thereby increasing the risk of HPV infection,  the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey Report 2018, says.

“Nigeria’s HPV vaccine introduction for girls of the targeted age nine to 14 years will potentially prevent 71,000 deaths annually.

“HPV vaccination at an early age is highly important as it provides the best protection. The objective of the HPV vaccination is to give all eligible girls injectable HPV vaccine into the arm, for protection against cervical cancer.

“Schools, churches, mosques, primary health centres, hospitals, outreach posts, markets, gated estates and other designated posts within the community have been earmarked as vaccination centres.

“In view of this, we solicit with all parents, guardians’ community leaders, pastors, and imams to ensure that all eligible girls are vaccinated during the campaign.

“Please note that routine immunisation services will also be available at the Primary Healthcare Centres all over the 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas in the state during the HPV vaccination campaign.

“The HPV vaccine is free, safe, highly effective and a lifesaver,” the statement said.

For inquiries, residents of the state are to contact the Primary Health Care Department of their LG/LCDA or any PHC close to one.

“Please avail yourself of this information and share it with others,” the statement added.