In the year 2020, Nigeria recorded 12,000 new cases of cervical cancer.
First Lady Senator Oluremi Tinubu has announced a big step in the fight against cervical cancer by launching the inclusion of the Human Papillomavirus Vaccine (HPV) into the National Immunisation Programme.
Speaking at an event in Abuja on Tuesday, October 24, 2023, Senator Tinubu expressed her deep concern over the alarming rise of cervical cancer cases in the country. She urged parents to prioritise their daughters’ health by ensuring they receive the vaccination.
“We are making a clear statement that the well-being and health of the girl-child is a national priority, and this is in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu,” Senator Tinubu stated emphatically.
She emphasised that the initiative aimed to safeguard the future of young girls and went beyond merely preventing cervical cancer.
Professor Mohammed Ali Pate, the Coordinating Minister for Health and Social Welfare, supported the initiative by assuring Nigerians that the HPV vaccine is safe, effective, and already in use in numerous countries globally.
He emphasised the importance of the vaccine in preventing cervical cancer, a disease that claimed 8,000 lives in Nigeria in 2020 alone.
Under the first phase of the HPV vaccination campaign, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) aims to reach approximately 6 million girls aged 9-14. The agency plans to administer over 6 million doses of Gardasil HPV vaccine along with essential supplies to protect young girls across the nation.
In a notable show of support, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) pledged its commitment to play a pivotal role in promoting the vaccination campaign against the Human Papillomavirus.
Archbishop Okoh, speaking on behalf of CAN, commended the efforts of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) for their proactive steps in raising awareness about the HPV vaccine. He stressed the importance of collective efforts in ensuring the success of this vital public health initiative.
The introduction of the HPV vaccine comes in response to alarming statistics. In the year 2020, Nigeria recorded 12,000 new cases of cervical cancer.