• Thursday, December 07, 2023
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71,000 annual deaths to be averted as FG begins vaccination against cervical cancer

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The Federal Government is to begin the administration of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination against cervical cancer, from September 25, 2023.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says vaccination against cervical cancer could avert 71,000 deaths among Nigerian women yearly.

The vaccine will be administered to girls between the ages of nine and 15 years. Faisal Shuaib, executive director, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, said this during a meeting with religious leaders in Abuja on Monday.

According to Shuaib, cervical cancer, caused by the Human Papilloma Virus, is one of the deadliest diseases that affect women.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says vaccination against cervical cancer could avert 71,000 deaths among Nigerian women yearly.

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Shuaib, therefore, urged the leaders to use their roles as spiritual guides, to join hands with the medical community in championing the cause of the vaccination. He added that their role is critical to dispel myths and fears, fostering a culture of prevention and care.

“Consider the impact of our collective endorsement of HPV vaccination. We safeguard our youth’s future, allowing them to pursue dreams unburdened by health concerns. We uphold our duty to care for the vulnerable, ensuring equitable access to lifesaving interventions.

“By spreading accurate information and advocating for vaccination, you empower individuals/families to make informed choices. Imagine the strength of our message when our faith communities unite behind this cause. By championing HPV vaccination, we send a powerful signal that our values extend beyond the spiritual realm – they encompass every facet of human existence, including health and wellbeing”, Shuaib said.

Speaking, Ali Pate, the coordinating minister of health and social welfare, emphasised the importance of the partnership between the government and the faith community, saying the government alone cannot fulfil all healthcare needs.

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The minister also highlighted the constantly evolving nature of the medical field and the need for regular collaboration and updates among healthcare providers and religious leaders.

“By coming together, sharing knowledge, and staying informed about current developments, we can ensure that world-class and standard healthcare services are provided to Nigerians”, he said.

He encouraged religious leaders and healthcare providers to continue working together, sharing their expertise and knowledge, in order to improve the quality of healthcare in the nation.