The Ogun State Government in collaboration with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency and development partners has begun the vaccination of eligible young girls of ages 9 to 14 against Cervical Cancer.
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker while delivering her keynote address during the flag-off of the introduction of the Human Papiloma Virus Vaccine (HPV), into routine immunization schedule in the state at Iperu, Ikenne Local Government Area of the State, described the HPV vaccine as an important milestone of progress towards achieving the SDG of the present administration.
Coker, in a statement signed by Press Officer, Ogun State Primary Health Care Development Board (OGSPHCDB), Mrs. Fatimah Alatishe said cervical cancer was the fourth most common cancer in women globally, saying that the high burden of it was attributed to several factors which includes, poor access to the vaccination services, poor screening and treatment services, low awareness and inadequate access to healthcare especially in rural areas.
She further enjoined parents to key into the programme as it would result to 90% reduction of cervical abnormalities among vaccinated women, adding that the vaccine has been scientifically proven to be safe and effective in preventing the infection and risk of cervical cancer. She said that it has also been certified by the National Agency for Food Administration and Control.
In his welcome address, the Chairman Ikenne Local Government, Hon. Olusegun Ogunleye, encouraged parents to get their children vaccinated, saying low awareness and inadequate access to vaccination led to the high rate of Cervical Cancer in the country.
The Executive Secretary, Primary Health Care Development Board, Dr. Elijah Ogunsola, in his message, appreciated the Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun for making the implementation of the HPVV a reality as the State was part of the 16 States for the pilot phase.
Also speaking, the Chief Medical Director, Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Olubunmi Fatungase and the President, Medical Women Association of Nigeria, Ogun State, Dr Dedeke, urged parents and guidance to shun all negative news been circulated around as the Vaccine would not affect the fertility of girls in future.
Religious and community leaders, civil society and stakeholders in the health sector however gave kudos to the Ogun State government for bringing the vaccine to their doorsteps.
High point of the ceremony was the symbolic vaccination of students drawn across schools in Ikenne Local Government.
There were goodwill messages from some stakeholders who graced the occasion like representative of World Health Organization, UNICEF, National Primary Health Care Development Agency NPHCDA, religious leaders amongst others.