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Cervical Cancer: Oyo Govt urges parents to give consent for HPV Vaccine

Cervical Cancer: Oyo Govt urges parents to give consent for HPV Vaccine

The Oyo State Government has urged parents to give consent for their targeted girls to receive free Human Papilloma virus (HPV) Vaccine which has been incorporated into the Extended Programme on Immunization (EPI).

The free HPV vaccine programme targets girls between ages nine to 14 years in the state and it is aimed at preventing cervical cancer.

Speaking during a news conference on Monday in Ibadan, the Executive Secretary of Oyo State Primary Healthcare Board, Dr Muideen Olatunji, said the Board targets 7.71 per cent of the population requiring the vaccine.

Olatunji described cervical cancer as one of the most common forms of cancer that affects women, stressing that the disease must be tackled head-long.

The Executive Secretary said the government launched the programme at St. Paul Anglican Primary School, Ibadan, where over 300 pupils were vaccinated.

He urged parents and guardians to avail their daughters between nine and 14 years old the opportunity to be vaccinated so as to prevent them from contracting cervical cancer.

Olatunji also encouraged every woman who is sexually exposed to ensure they undergo regular cervical cancer screening to prevent the disease.

He noted that the present administration in Oyo State was committed to providing quality health care delivery to the citizens of the state.

He lauded the Federal Government and state government for introducing the HPV vaccine, saying the vaccine would save future generations of Nigerian girls and women from the danger of the disease.

The Executive Secretary reassured residents of the state that the vaccine is safe, free and will be available in all healthcare facilities across the state after five days.

Appreciating the development partners for embarking on the exercise with the government, Olatunji said the campaign targets 639, 049 young girls between age nine and 14 years.

“It is pertinent to reiterate that the vaccine is not designed to reduce the population of the state.

“This is a demonstration of our continued partnership and indeed, collective efforts to protect young girls and citizens of the state against the prevalence of cervical cancer disease.

“Cervical cancer is a serious, and second most fatal cancer that affects women especially females of productive age.

“However, it’s important to note that cervical cancer is a preventable disease, which can be controlled through routine human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine.

“We have trained and retrained those that will administer this vaccine, and there are supervisors who will regularly take measures of safety and there are measures put in place to checkmate the administration of these vaccines”.

He added that the board had put a structure in place to reach every part of the state state and would make sure that no one is left out in HPV vaccination exercise.

“We must utilise the opportunity as critical stakeholders to significantly reduce the prevalence of this disease to protect the lives of our citizens, particularly young girls between the ages of nine and 14.

“Cervical cancer globally accounts for a huge number of deaths and is the fourth among the cancers that kill women in the world.

“HPV which causes cervical cancer is preventable, so what we are doing is cost-effective, and safe so that we don’t have to wait for treatment or management when cancer has set it.

“Prevention is better than treatment and cure,” he said.

Speaking of HPV vaccination modalities, Olatunji said one dose of the vaccine would be administered on the left upper arm of recipients, adding that no serious reaction would follow it.

He further said that the vaccine has a 90 percent guarantee of protecting girls from cervical cancer.

Also speaking, the UNICEF Social Behaviour Change Specialist, Samuel Olatunji, pledged continued support of UNICEF and other development partners to the immunisation programme for the overall wellbeing of young girls and women in the state.

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