By: Aisha Mohammed
As Nigeria commences large-scale vaccination campaign against the human papillomavirus, HPV, in a bid to substantially reduce cervical cancer rates, Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa State has charged parents and care givers to avail their eligible children and wards to ensure that they are vaccinated.
Fintiri gave the charge at the official flag-off of HPV vaccine to all female, ages nine to fourteen years in Yola Adamawa State.
Represented by the Deputy Governor of Adamawa state, Professor Kaletapwa George Farauta, Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri commended the effort of the Adamawa State Primary Healthcare Development Agency and the State Ministry of Health for their role in coordinating the pre-implementing activities and urged parents and caregivers to ensure that they avail their eligible children for the HPV vaccine.
Addressing misinformation surrounding the HPV vaccine, Commissioner of Health, Felix Tangwami said Cervical cancer is ranked the third most common cancer among Nigerian women and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the age group of 15 to 44 and therefore encouraged parents to ensure their children get vaccinated.
In an opening remark, Executive Secretary, Adamawa State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Suleiman Sa’idu Bashir expressed readiness to reach the targeted number of young girls with the HPV vaccine to reduce rates of cervical cancer in the state.
While applauding effort of the Adamawa State Primary Healthcare Development Agency in ensuring protection of its citizens against vaccine preventable diseases, Representatives of development partners, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, World Health Organization, UNICEF amongst others stated that ensuring the health of the girl child is of paramount importance and pleaded for the involvement of religious and traditional leaders in the HPV vaccination campaign.
The implementing partners revealed that Federal Government introduced the HPV vaccine into the routine immunization system, targeting over seven million girls in a single round of vaccination being the largest in the African region in an effort expected to significantly reduce cervical cancer cases and save the lives of Nigerian women.