Plateau – Group launches mass HPV vaccination campaign to curb cervical cancer

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By Israel Joel, Jos

A Youth led organisation Flame of Hope has called for an aggressive advocacy in the vaccination of girls against Human Papillomavirus (HPV) in order to battle the risk of cervical cancer.

The group equally harped on the need for communities to key into the drive.

Speaking at a mass rally it held in Mangu local government council of Plateau state in preparation for the flag-off of phase 2 of the Human Papillomavirus Vaccine for prevention of Cervical Cancer, the leader of the youth-led group, Mary Udoh described HPV vaccine as a noble initiative that is aimed at preventing the increasing incidences of cervical cancer and admonished every mother to ensure that their girls are vaccinated, adding that the vaccine is free, safe and effective for the prevention of cervical cancer.

She said Cervical cancer is the second most common cause of cancer-related death of women between 15 and 44 years of age in Nigeria.

She added that ” The link between cervical and the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) underscores the importance of the HPV vaccine. ”

” Nigeria through the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) introduced the quadrivalent HPV vaccine into the country’ Expanded Program on Immunization system in October 2023 to curb the spread of the deadly virus. ”

The Johns Hopkins International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC), with funding from Gavi, is working with Direct Consulting and Logistics (DCL) Nigeria in collaboration with NPHCDA and Women Advocates for Vaccine Access (WAVA), trained and activated Youth-led Organizations and Youth Individual to support Nigeria’s HPV vaccination rollout in second phase.

“The rally featured mass awareness and sensitization of the community on HPV vaccine, one-on-one sensitization by vaccine champions, distribution of IEC materials such as stickers, Q&A/5 reasons flyers.

During the questions and answer session with the market women, the emphasis was on the importance of the vaccine, the need for all the women to reach out to their families and wards with the message of the HPV vaccine and ensure that all their girls ages 9-14 years get vaccinated from Monday 27th May 2024.

Also in her remark, the representative of the Medical Woman Association of Nigeria, Dr. Franca Tongjap Dabang explained the importance of the HPV vaccine as the answer to the problem of cervical cancer round the world, .

She also warned that the opportunity of the vaccine exercise is a golden one which every one is expected to key into to protect the future of their girl child from cervical cancer.

A representative of Mangu LGA at the mass rally event Mr. Tambes James John who is also the health educator of Mangu LGA explained that the importance of the vaccine exercise and re-emphasized the need for all and sundry to ensure that all their girls within the stipulated age range (9-14 years) are vaccinated.

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