Kwara To Vaccinate 311,000 Schoolgirls Against Cervical Cancer


No fewer than 311,000 schoolgirls between 9-14 years have been targeted for vaccination for cervical cancer across Kwara State in five days.

Executive Secretary, Kwara State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Nusirat Elelu, disclosed this at the Flag off of the Human Pappiloma Virus (HPV) Vaccine Rollout and Greening Our Future Initiative held in Ilọrin.

She said, “Going by the guidelines given by the NPHCDA, we are set to vaccinate about 311,000 eligible girls aged between 9-14 years across the nooks and crannies of Kwara State with the HPV vaccine.

“All pre implementation conditions have been met including the timely release of the state counterpart funds by Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq to ensure a smooth and seamless implementation”.

Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Muyi Aina, said at least 80% eligible girls would be reached during the five days intensification after which the HPV vaccines would be accessed through routine immunisation in PHC facilities.

Aina, who was represented by Sheu Hassan, said that the HPV vaccine is a very important vaccine.

“Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women globally and the second most common cancer affecting women in Nigeria. It is estimated that 604,000 cases with 342,000 deaths occurred globally in 2020, and an estimated 12,075 cases and 7,968 deaths were recorded in Nigeria,” he said.

The NPHCDA boss, who said that the HPV vaccine is free, safe, and effective, urged stakeholders to mobilise family members, friends, and communities to ensure that all eligible girls get vaccinated.

In her remarks, the wife of the Kwara State governor, Ambassador Olufolake AbdulRazaq, assured of efficacy of the vaccine, while she charged stakeholders to dispel negative rumours and misconception against the HPV vaccines.

On his part, the Emir of Shonga, Dr Haliru Yahaya Ndanusa, said the vaccine was so expensive which necessitated the age bracket.

“It’s not that this age group of girls are the only ones in need of it, but because the vaccines is so expensive, this age group was picked.

“The theatre of works is in our palaces and our communities and we will continue to work to dispel all the rumours surrounding the safety of the vaccine,” he added.

A total of 787 schoolchildren were vaccinated at the event.

Mike Ojo

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