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Oyo flags off free vaccine against HPV, targets 639,049 girls

The Oyo State Government has launched the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Vaccine into the State Extended Programme on Immunization (EPI), targeting girls between 9-14 years of age.

Muideen Olatunji, Executive Secretary, Oyo State Primary Healthcare Board, who stated that the Board targets 7.71% of the population, described cervical cancer as one of the most common forms of cancer that affects women, stressing that the disease must be tackled head-long.

Speaking during a Press Conference in Ibadan, the Executive Secretary said the State Government had launched the programme at St. Paul Anglican Primary School, Yanbule, Bashorun, where over 300 pupils were vaccinated, but the campaign targets 639, 049 young girls between the age of 9-14 years.

He urged parents and guardians to avail their daughters between 9 and 14 years old, the opportunity to be vaccinated so as to prevent them from cervical cancer.

Olatunji, a medical doctor encouraged every woman, who is sexually exposed to ensure they undergo regular cervical cancer screening (pap smear), to prevent the disease.

Olatunji, said the present Administration in Oyo State is 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.

He 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 ”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”.