The Lagos State government is set to vaccinate girls between the ages of 9 and 14 across the state, against Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which causes cervical cancer.
This was contained in a public awareness message shared by Dr. Abimbola Mabogunje, the Permanent Secretary, Primary Health Centre District 6, Lagos State.
According to Dr. Mabogunje, the HPV vaccination programme, which comes up between September 25 and September 30, 2023, is targeted at girls between the ages of 9 and 14. The programme will be implemented across all schools and primary health care centres (PHCs) in Lagos State.
While encouraging parents in Lagos State to allow their female children to come out to be vaccinated against the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), she said the vaccine is safe, protective against cervical cancer and free of charge.
In her message, Dr. Mabogunje said, “please let your girls come out and be vaccinated. You can go call all. They are going to all schools, you can go to all Primary Health Care Centers. We are going to be going out and bringing all the children, where they are, including religious centers.
It is safe, it is protective against cervical cancer and free of charge.
It is supported by the Lagos State Government and, most especially, the first lady of Lagos State, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu.
Please bring your girls out to be vaccinated. It is for their benefit. Let us keep our girls safe in Lagos State.”
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a common virus that can affect different parts of the body There are over 100 types of HPV, including strains of HPV that cause warts on the hands, feet, face, etc. About 30 HPV strains can affect the genitals, including the vulva, vagina, cervix, penis and scrotum, as well as the rectum and anus.
HPV which affects the genitals is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that gets passed through skin-to-skin contact and includes the type of HPV that causes genital warts.
Some strains of HPV are high-risk and can lead to cancers, such as cervical cancer. Early detection and treatment can usually prevent this from happening.
According to available data, Nigeria has a population of 60.9 million women, aged 15 years and older who are at risk of developing cervical cancer. Current estimates indicate that every year 12,075 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 7,968 die from the disease.
Cervical cancer ranks as the 2nd most frequent cancer among women in Nigeria and the 2nd most frequent cancer among women between 15 and 44 years of age. About 3.5% of women in the general population are estimated to harbour cervical HPV-16/18 infection at a given time and 66.9% of invasive cervical cancers are attributed to HPVs 16 or 18.