Nasarawa State To administer Cancer Vaccine to Girls Ages 9-14 years
By Amina Mohammed, Lafia
The Nasarawa State Government says plans have been concluded to start administering vaccines to girls between ages 9-14 years to protect them against cervical cancer.
Executive Secretary, of Nasarawa State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NAPHDA), Dr. Mohammed Addis, stated this at a stakeholders meeting in Lafia, the state capital.
The Executive Chairman was represented by the Programme Manager State Emergency Routine Immunisation Coordination Centre, Mr. Ismaila Oko.
He explained that Nasarawa State was among the 16 states in the country selected for the first phase of the implementation of the vaccine.
The Executive Chairman explained that the vaccine had been procured already and is currently stored in the state for onward distribution to various centers.
Dr. Addis, therefore, commended President Bola Tinubu, Gov. Abdullahi Sule, and Dr. Fa’Isal Shua’Ib, Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency for their roles in ensuring the availability of the vaccine in the pilot states.
On his part, Programme Manager State Emergency Routine Immunisation Coordination Centre, Mr. Ismaila Oko, said that cervical and breast cancer account for about 50 percent of all cancer-related mortality.
“Based on the National Demographic Health Survey conducted in 2018, cervical and breast cancer account for about 50 percent of cancer-related mortality.
“And 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 said.
The Programme Manager further explained that it was the result of the survey that prompted the Federal Government and other partners to develop a vaccine.
He said that the vaccine would be administered for seven days in all communities in the 13 Local Government Areas of the state.
He, therefore explained that their staff would visit houses, schools, and worship centers within the period to ensure that the targeted children are all given the vaccine.
Also speaking, the Director of Health Education and Social Mobilisation at the NAPHDA, Mr. Mohammed Ibrahim, said the stakeholders meeting was aimed at carrying community leaders along.
He explained that the community leaders are supposed to help in enlightening the public about the introduction of the new vaccine to protect women against cancer.
He added that, “The vaccine had passed the clinical examinations and was approved by all the relevant agencies at the International and National levels.”
He further said that the vaccine was certified and cleared by the relevant authorities and therefore safe to use.
The meeting which featured questions and answers, had in attendance representatives of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Jama’Atu Nasril Islam (JNI), media, LGAs Coordinators of National Orientation Agency, and Heads of Primary Healthcare Centres from the LGAs among others.