Enugu Government introduces HPV vaccine into routine immunisation

The government has designated 10 PHCs in each of the state’s 17 council areas as facilities for administering the newly introduced HPV vaccine.

The Enugu State Government has introduced Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination into routine immunisation in Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) in the state.

Dr Ifeyinwa Ani-Osheku, the Executive Secretary of the Enugu State Primary Health Care Development Agency (ENS-PHCDA), told newsmen in Enugu that the introduction as routine immunisation followed successful conclusion of a comprehensive statewide HPV vaccine campaign.

He said the government had designated 10 PHCs in each of the state’s 17 council areas as facilities for administering the newly introduced HPV vaccine. Ani-Osheku added that the groundbreaking statewide campaign on HPV vaccination, spanning five days with an additional three-day mop-up phase, introduced the life-saving Gardasil vaccine to young girls between the ages of nine and 14 years.

She explained that the introduction of the HPV vaccine in Enugu State followed series of high-level pre-implementation activities that brought together various stakeholders, including religious, traditional, media and civil society leaders.

“These collaborative efforts culminated in a spectacular ceremony at Enugu State Teaching Hospital, Parklane, Enugu on October 24, which was graciously performed by Gov. Dr Peter Mbah, represented by the Deputy Governor, Chief Ifeanyi Ossai.

“This historic day set the stage for a groundbreaking initiative that would improve the lives of countless young girls.

“This momentous campaign, which took place from October 24 to October 29, simultaneously covered all 17 local government areas in Enugu State.

“The Gardasil vaccine, which has been in existence for over 17 years, has been scientifically proven to be both safe and effective in preventing cervical cancer.

“The vaccine has also received certification from the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) as safe and effective,” she said.

She reiterated the state government’s commitment to this vital public health effort by being among the first states to promptly release the required counterpart funds as requested by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).

The executive secretary said that the state government’s dedication to the programme was further exemplified by seven council chairmen who also launched the HPV vaccination in their respective areas.

She said: “Enugu State received a total of 244,707 vials of the HPV vaccine and, to date, has successfully vaccinated over 218,651 eligible young girls.

“The programme achieved a remarkable success, with over 66 per cent of the target population now protected against cervical cancer.

“In light of this remarkable success, the Gardasil vaccine has been seamlessly integrated into routine immunisation and accessible at designated PHCs across the state”.

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