Seven Million Nigerian Girls Vaccinated Against HPV in Two Weeks — Gavi

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Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, announced on Wednesday that seven million Nigerian girls have been vaccinated against the human papillomavirus (HPV) in just two weeks. This significant milestone marks a critical step in protecting girls from cervical cancer later in life.

The Federal Government of Nigeria launched the first phase of the HPV vaccination campaign on October 24, 2023, targeting over seven million girls aged nine to 14. This initial phase covered 16 states, including Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Enugu, Jigawa, Kano, Lagos, Nasarawa, Ogun, Osun, Taraba, and the Federal Capital Territory.

Prof. Muhammad Pate, the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, reported that approximately 4.95 million girls were vaccinated during this first phase.

The second phase of the vaccination campaign, which began on May 27, covered the remaining states: Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Gombe, Imo, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Niger, Ondo, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara.

HPV is a common sexually transmitted infection and a major cause of several cancers, including cervical cancer. According to the World Health Organization, cervical cancer is the second most frequent cancer among women in Nigeria and the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women aged 15 to 44.

In 2020, The Global Cancer Observatory estimated that over 12,000 cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed annually in Nigeria. Introducing the HPV vaccine into the routine immunization schedule is a crucial step in preventing HPV infections and reducing the incidence of cervical cancer.

In October 2023, Gavi partnered with the Nigerian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, the World Health Organization, and UNICEF to introduce the HPV vaccine into the national immunization program. In May 2024, Gavi expanded its collaboration with Girl Effect to enhance outreach efforts and ensure vaccine access for girls.

Gavi highlighted that vaccinating seven million girls in just two weeks is a significant achievement towards the goal of reaching 16 million girls by 2025. Dr. Sani Nishtar, Gavi’s Chief Executive Officer, stated, “This achievement is a testament to the tremendous collaboration between Gavi, the Nigerian government, and our partners. By prioritizing girls’ health, we are empowering a generation and helping to save countless lives.”


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