By Asmau Ahmad
Nigeria’s First Lady, Mrs Oluremi Tinubu, has recommended Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Vaccine for Nigerian girls, between the ages of 9 and 14, to prevent them from having cervical cancer.
The first lady made this recommendation on Tuesday at the State House, Abuja, while flagging off the introduction of the HPV vaccine, spearheaded by the Primary Healthcare under the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.
“The global body of cervical cancer has been a significant body of concern for cervical cancer, because in 2020, millions of women, about 90 per cent of them in less-developed region of the world, suffered the disease.
“In Nigeria, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women between the ages 15 and 49 years, leaving about 80,000 victims dead.
“With the introduction of an HPV vaccination into our immunisation schedule, we are making a statement that the wellbeing of the girl child is a national priority and this is in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu.
“This initiative goes beyond the awareness of cervical cancer; we also dedicate our commitment to gender equality.
“For me, I will recommend that girls under the age of 18 should avail themselves of the opportunity of the vaccine to prevent future occurrences of cervical cancer.”
She also said that every child deserves a healthy life.
She said it is imperative for girls within the active sexual age to get vaccinated for prevention against future transmitted diseases and cervical cancer.
Mrs Remi Tinubu commended the Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Muhammad Pate, dedicated health workers and the ministry for introducing the vaccine into its national expanded programme on immunisation.
She further called for more orientation and awareness on the importance of the vaccine and the negative impact of the virus on women.
The First Lady said cervical cancer mostly affects girls and women in the rural areas, saying it’s a burden the ministry of health can reduce through relevant healthcare providers.
Prof. Pate, at the event, said that the Federal Government is committed to safeguarding the lives of every girl child in the country.