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What you should know as HPV vacccine becomes part of immunisation schedule

The Federal Government has said it will soon introduce the Human Papilloma Virus vaccine into the country’s immunisation schedule.

The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, disclosed this at the second quarter review meeting with northern traditional leaders in Abuja on Thursday.

High-risk HPV (where cancer can occur in the body). Image credit: MNT

HPV is a commonly transmitted infection that can lead to various health issues, including cervical, anal, and oropharyngeal cancers.

Shuaib noted that immunisation would help to reduce the disease burden on the healthcare system and spare individuals from unnecessary suffering, and ultimately save lives.

He said, “The Federal Government, in partnership with our development partners, will be introducing the Human Papilloma Virus vaccine into the immunisation schedule.

“The introduction of HPV vaccines signifies our commitment to promoting preventive healthcare and empowering our population, especially our young generation, to live healthier lives.

“We recognise the immense value of prevention in reducing the burden on our healthcare system, sparing individuals from unnecessary suffering, and ultimately saving lives.

“Moreover, the introduction of HPV vaccines aligns with our broader goals of promoting equity and reducing health disparities.

“By ensuring access to these vaccines for all, regardless of socio-economic status or geographical location, we can bridge the gap and protect vulnerable populations who are disproportionately affected by HPV-related diseases.”

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How the HPV vaccine works

He stated that the support of the traditional leaders is needed to overcome vaccine hesitancy in the region.

Shuaib said, “However, the successful implementation of HPV vaccination requires a comprehensive approach. We must work together to raise awareness, dispel myths, and address vaccine hesitancy. Education inclusive of communication is key to empowering our communities with accurate information about the safety, efficacy, and importance of HPV vaccination.”

Speaking, the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, expressed concerns over the health conditions of Internally Displaced Persons in six northern states of Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kaduna, Niger, and Kastina.

HPV vaccine facts

He urged the traditional leaders in the affected states to work with their state governors to prevent outbreaks of diseases in IDP camps.

He said, “We have challenges ahead of us. We have about six states in the north with a high number of Internally Displaced Persons. We have tried to reach them, but we could not.

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“We must work with the governors in these states so that we can reach them. If there is any outbreak of an epidemic, one person is enough to pass it around to the whole population in the IDP. This is a serious concern. ”

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