NPHCDA to roll out HPV vaccine second phase

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By Abujah Racheal

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) says it is set to roll out the second phase of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in 21 states.

The phase one covered Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, FCT, Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi, Lagos, Nasarawa, Ogun, Ondo and Taraba.

Dr Rufai Garba, Director, Disease Control and Immunization, NPHCDA, said this in Abuja on Friday during a one-day sensitisation meeting with Women Religious Groups, including the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ).

HPV vaccine is designed to protect against infections by certain strains of HPV, which can lead to various health issues, including genital warts cervical and anal and oropharyngeal cancers.

The vaccine is most effective when administered before individuals become sexually active, typically recommended for preteens around ages 11 or 12, but it can be given as early as age 9 and up to age 26.

It is part of public health efforts to reduce the prevalence of HPV-related diseases.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that there have been pushback by anti-vaccine elements who discourage parents from consenting to the vaccine being administered on their daughters.

Garba said second phase implementation of vaccine would  cover Anambra, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Gombe, Imo, Kaduna, Katsina, Kwara, Kogi, Niger, Ondo, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara.

He expressed optimism about the public’s cooperation in the face of significant resistance the initial phase received from anti-vaccine groups.

“These groups disseminated misinformation, including quality videos aimed at discouraging vaccination, he said.

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In spite of these challenges, he said, the country had adequate vaccine supplies and has begun distribution to states, with the rollout scheduled to start on May 27, 2024.

He said the importance of pre-emptive public sensitisation to checkmate misinformation, drawing lessons from past experiences with polio vaccines resistance.

He said that the government was committed to robust and urged newsmen to help ensure accurate information reached the public.

He said that every 9 to 14 years old girl deserved protection, adding that the HPV vaccine shields them from common strains of HPV that could lead to cervical cancer.

The NPHCDA in collaboration with Girl Effect Nigeria organised the one-day sensitisation meeting.

Participants also included the Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN) and Nasrul-Lahi-L-Fatih Society (NASFAT).

Others were women wings of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) and Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), and Nigeria Interfaith Action Association (NIFAA). (NAN) www.nannews.ng

 

Edited by Uche Anunne

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