Nasarawa State government has disclosed its plans to administer a free cervical vaccine to girls between ages nine and 14 years to protect them from Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). This was revealed by the Executive Secretary, of Nasarawa State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NAPHDA), Dr. Mohammed Addis, at a stakeholders meeting, yesterday, in Lafia the state capital. The chairman, who was represented at the occasion by the Programme Manager of, the State Emergency Routine Immunisation Coordination Centre, Ismaila Oko, explained that Nasarawa was among the 16 states in the country selected for the first phase of the vaccination. He noted that the vaccine had been procured already and stored in the state for onward distribution to various centres.
Addis commended President Bola Tinubu, Governor Abdullahi Sule and the Executive Director of, the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, for their roles in ensuring the availability of the vaccine in the pilot states.
“Based on the National Demographic Health Survey conducted in 2018, cervical and breast cancers account for about 50 per cent of cancer-related mortality. The survey also revealed that out of 10 women diagnosed with cancer, only two are likely to survive at the end of the day,” he added.
Director, of Health Education and Social Mobilisation at NAPHDA, Mohammed Ibrahim, said the stakeholders' meeting was aimed at carrying community leaders along. Community leaders, he added, are supposed to help in enlightening the public on the introduction of the new vaccine to protect women against cancer. The vaccine has passed clinical examinations and been approved by relevant agencies at the international and national levels.
The meeting had in attendance representatives of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), the media, local council coordinators of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), and Heads of Primary Healthcare Centres from the local councils, among others.