HPV vaccination: Board applauds UNICEF, seeks more collaborations

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By Millicent Ifeanyichukwu

The Lagos State Primary Healthcare Board (LSPHCB) on Wednesday praised the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) for efforts in driving eradication of cervical cancer in Nigeria.

Dr Akinpelu Adetola, Immunisation Programme Coordinator of LSPHCB, made the commendation in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

He spoke to NAN on the sidelines of a two-day media dialogue organised by LSPHCB in partnership with UNICEF.

The programme had  the theme:  ‘Combating the Most Preventable Form of Cancer Affecting Women and Girls through Vaccination”.

Adetola also solicited more collaborations in the fight against cervical cancer.

He called on ministries, departments and agencies  in the state to increase public awareness on the availability of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine for girls aged nine to 14 years.

“We commend the efforts, contributions and support of UNICEF in making Nigeria a cervical cancer-free society, particularly in driving the cause of vaccination of our girls from age nine to 14.

“Knowledge is basic; so, we are  seeking synergy with  Lagos State Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, SUBEB and Ministry of Women Affairs to drive this cause.

“We want them to inculcate the importance of this immunisation on children.

“This will help mothers, fathers and guardians to make informed choices,” he said.

The programme coordinator also said that the board had made efforts to sensitise girls to the importance of the vaccine during school assemblies.

He added that the board was creating the awareness through Parent-Teacher Association  meetings.

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According to him, the campaign and exercise are ongoing.

“We are making efforts not to leave any girl-child behind. We have teachers across the six education districts in Lagos State as part of our working groups.

“This, to an extent, reduced misconception that arose  when we flagged off the campaign in August 2023. The board also has mobile fixed posts.

“They are outreach centres (temporary) that offer same service, to encourage girls in communities to benefit from the free vaccination,” he added. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Remi Koleoso/Ijeoma Popoola

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