Home NewsInternational Gavi, FG, others vaccinate schoolgirls in Abuja, Nasarawa 

Gavi, FG, others vaccinate schoolgirls in Abuja, Nasarawa 

by Haruna Gimba
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By Asmau Ahmad

The Federal Government in collaboration with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organisation (WHO), and other development partners have vaccinated about 500 schoolgirls with the Human Papillomavirus vaccine in Abuja and Nasarawa state.

This is following the introduction of the HPV vaccine into routine immunisation for girls aged nine to 14 years old, hence, the involvement of 16 states in the first phase of the five-day mass vaccination campaign.

The vaccination exercise was carried out at Junior Secondary School, Asokoro, Abuja and Government Secondary School, Bakin-Ado, Karu, Nasarawa State on Thursday.

The Head of the HPV Programme, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Emily Kobayashi, said she was impressed about the turnout of the children and the cooperation of the traditional leaders, the religious leaders and parents.

The President of Karu Local Government Traditional Council, Luka Panya Baba said the HPV vaccine is life-saving.

“We have discussed extensively with religious leaders about the benefits for the community. There are quite a number of countries that have since introduced the vaccine.

“What we are witnessing today will help our girls now and in the future. We appreciate Gavi. The Northern Traditional leaders will ensure that we mobilise our young girls to take the vaccine because the benefit is for all of us. We have no doubt about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.

“There are a lot of countries in Africa that have introduced the vaccine into their routine immunisation. We hope in the future, countries will make reference to Nigeria about the success of the HPV vaccine,” he said.

One of the parents, who brought her children for vaccination, Mrs. Ene Faustina, said she heard about the vaccine and the importance.

“I have lost someone to breast cancer and this is a great privilege for me. So, I had to bring my children for the vaccination,” she added.

The girls aged nine to 14 years will receive a single dose of the vaccine, which prevents HPV types 16 and 18, known to cause at least 70 per cent of cervical cancers.

In Nigeria, cervical cancer is the third most common cancer and the second most frequent cause of cancer deaths among women aged between ages 15 and 44 years.

In 2020, Nigeria recorded 12,000 new cases and 8,000 deaths from cervical cancer.

The vaccine is being provided for free by the Federal Ministry of Health through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA)with support from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the UNICEF, the WHO and other partners.

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