Kwara State to Vaccinate 311,000 Girls Against HPV

Date: 2024-05-20

According to News report from Punch, the Kwara State Government has finalised plans to vaccinate 311,000 girls, aged nine to 14, against the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which causes cervical cancer.

Dr Michael Oguntoye, Director of the Kwara State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, announced this in Ilorin on Sunday. Oguntoye, speaking at a media stakeholders' engagement, stated that the vaccination campaign would commence on 27th May and last for five days.

The media engagement was organised by John Snow Incorporated, with support from the HPV Vaccine Acceleration Programme Partners Initiative Consortium and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Oguntoye explained that the vaccination initiative was backed by the Federal Government, JSI, HAPPI, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The campaign, to be inaugurated by Dr Olufolake AbdulRazaq, wife of the Kwara governor, aims to reach both school-going and out-of-school girls.

“The HPV vaccine will be available across all primary health care facilities in the state.

“The vaccine is safe, efficacious and is not an attempt to reduce population or family planning strategy,” he said.

The Social Mobilisation Officer, Kwara State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Dupe Shittu, described HPV as a group of viruses that could 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 could 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.

She explained that the commonest mode of transmission was 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, the Social and Behavioural Change Communication Officer, JSI, Mr Kannath Ibrahim, urged against misinformation about the disease.

Ibrahim, who spoke on the topic, “Combating Misinformation, Myths, Debunking and Pre-Bunking Rumours, Prevalent, Rumours and Misconception,” explained that rumours, when unchecked or addressed, lead to misinformation.

 


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