The Lagos State Government is set to flag off the Human Papillomavirus Vaccine (HPV) immunization programme for girls aged between 9 and 14 years across the state.
A statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Primary Health Care Board, Dr. Ibrahim Akinwunmi Mustafa said that the immunization exercise, which is to commence Monday, 30th October, 2023 will be flagged off by the First Lady of the State, Dr. (Mrs.) Claudiana Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu at the Surulere Local Government Secretariat.
According to Dr. Mustafa, Human Papillomavirus is sexually transmitted and is the causative agent of cervical cancer and other HPV-related diseases such as skin and genital warts. 19% of women who initiate sexual intercourse by the age of 15 years have an increased risk of HPV infection (NDHS, report 2018).
He said that Schools and Primary Health Centers have been earmarked as vaccination points for wider and faster coverage.
The Permanent Secretary, who highlighted that the objective of the HPV vaccination is to give all eligible girls injectable HPV vaccine into the arm, for protection against cervical cancer, solicited the support of all stakeholders including parents, guardians, community and religious leaders to ensure all eligible girls are vaccinated during the campaign.
The HPV vaccination exercise is a nationwide campaign targeted at girls aged 9 to 14 years and aimed at potentially preventing 71,000 deaths annually. Vaccination at an early age is essential as it provides the best protection.
The routine immunization services will also be available at the Primary Healthcare Centres across the 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas of the State during the HPV vaccination campaign. The vaccine is free, safe and highly effective.
It should be noted that the flag-off earlier scheduled to be held on the 25th of September, 2023 was postponed for logistics reasons as informed by the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH).