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May 23, 2024
Health & Fitness

Ondo Govt moves against Cervical cancer, embarks on Vaccination Advocacy

As the vaccination against human papiloma virus begins in Ondo state in May this year, the state primary healthcare development agency has enjoined mothers to disregard any myth and misconception on the vaccine and present their girls for the live saving exercise.

The permanent Secretary of the agency, Dr Francis Akanbiemu made the plea while addressing some groups of women in Akure as part of advocacy campaign ahead of the vaccination.

Since the federal government announced its intention to include the human papiloma virus vaccine in the nation’s immunisation chat and make it free for women, the Ondo state primary healthcare development agency ODSPHCDA under the leadership of Dr Francis Akanbiemu has embarked on several awareness campaigns across the state.

The campaign is for two purposes of mobilizing mothers to make their girls between age 9 and 14 available for the vaccination when it begins in May and to clear all myths and misconceptions around the vaccines.

At one of such campaigns held in Akure, Ondo state, Dr Akanbiemu said the human papiloma virus vaccine had been found to prevent the deadly cervical cancer in over ninety percent of women who were vaccinated hence the need for mothers to ensure that their girls aged 9 to 14yrs benefitted from the exercise.

Dr Akanbiemu who stressed that the vaccine was for all women explained that girls of age 9 to 14 were being targeted for the first batch of the vaccination.

He however cautioned that eligible girls must not engage in sexual activities before taking the vaccine for effective result.

“The World Health Organisation believes that a girl of age 9 to 14yrs would not have had sexual intercourse, so it is better to start vaccinating them at that age and they are most likely not to have this deadly disease called cancer. The vaccine is expensive but the federal governmenthas subsized it heavily so it shall be administered on our girls freely as p” Akanbiemu submitted.

While lamenting that Nigeria lost 8,000 women to cervical cancer in 2023, the ODSPHCDA Permanent Secretary said any girl that is vaccinated has conquered human papiloma virus, the virus that causes cervical cancer and other diseases affecting women’s reproductive health.

“Nigeria currently has Over 12,000 cases of cervical cancer and last year alone, the counrty Lost 8,000 women to this terrible disease. Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women all over the world while it is Second most common in Nigeria, first is breast cancer.” He said.

Dr Akanbiemu opined that when a woman is affected by cancer of any kind, the condition not only wreaked havoc on her alone but on the whole family urging women to disabuse their minds against any myths and misconceptions against HPV vaccine.

“This cancer has a lot of negative implications. In terms of its negative effect on the economy of any woman affected by cervical cancer, the cost of managing cancer is highly exorbitant, it will drain the purse of the family and in most cases, over seventy percent of cases in Nigeria, the family alone cannot afford to provide treatment.

“Talking about the health implications, a woman who suffers cervical cancer has a high risk of dying, with psychological depression, some even attempt suicide.

The medical expert debunked rumour that the vaccine was meant to cause infertility in girls in future noting that it would boost their reproductive health

“The vaccine is safe, it does not cause infertility as said by those people who did not want good for the country. It does not reduce population and has no recorded sight effect. No parent should deny his or her girl the opportunity of getting this HPV vacine.”

Dr Akanbiemu promised that the awareness campaign would continue till the HPV vaccine rolled out in Ondo state by May, this year.

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