HPV vaccination: Kwara targets 311,000 girls – Official reveals


The Kwara Government says it has concluded plans to vaccinate 311,000 girls between the ages of nine and 14 against Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Dr Michael Oguntoye, a Director at the Kwara State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, stated this in Ilorin on Sunday.

READ ALSO: UNICEF urges northern governors’ wives to prioritise breastfeeding, vaccination

Oguntoye told journalists on the sideline of an engagement with media stakeholders, on the introduction of the vaccine, that the exercise would begin on May 27 and would last for five days.

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

Oguntoye said that the vaccination exercise was initiated by the Federal Government, with support from JSI, HAPPI and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

He added that the five-day campaign, which would be inaugurated by the wife of Kwara governor, Dr Olufolake AbdulRazaq, would target both school 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.

In her remarks, Dr Dupe Shittu, Social Mobilisation Officer, Kwara State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, 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.

Shittu added that Nigeria has one of the highest rates of cervical cancer incidences in the world.

She particularly said that the devastating disease not only affected the physical health of women, but also took a toll on families, communities, and society.

She explained that the most common 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, Mr Kannath Ibrahim, the Social and Behavioural Change Communication Officer, at JSI, advised journalists to verify and disseminate the right information to the public.

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.

A Media Consultant, Dr Mary Okpodu, enjoined journalists and media organisations to be ethical in their reportage.

Okpodu, who spoke on the topic, “Ethical Reportage on Cervical Cancer”, insisted that media reports must adhere to moral principles, professional standards, and societal values.

She enjoined newsmen to report in a truthful, fair, and responsible manner while considering the potential impact on individuals, communities, and society.



Comments are closed.