Niger launches HPV vaccine, calls for support from parents, community leaders

Niger state Government has launched the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine, with a call to parents, guardians and community leaders to support the HPV vaccination programme in the state.

The Deputy Governor of the state, Comrade Yakubu Garba, who launched the HPV vaccine at the Old Airport Clinic, Minna on Monday, said the event was a significant moment in the state healthcare journey towards safeguarding the health and well-being of the people, especially young girls and women.

While underscoring the importance of the HPV vaccine, the Deputy Governor who was represented at the occasion by the state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Hamidu Mu’azu Jantabo explained that Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is a common virus that can cause various health issues, including cervical cancer, genital warts, and other cancers, adding that the launching of the HPV vaccine is a major defense against cervical cancer.

He disclosed that the state and local governments under the leadership of Farmer Governor Mohammed Umaru Bago were committed to provide the enabling environment and prioritize resources distribution, as well as deployment of innovations that are evidence based to strengthen our healthcare system in the state.

The Deputy Governor who is also a health caregiver added that the HPV is transmitted through sexual contact, which makes it crucial to address prevention and early detection, hence the launching of the vaccine.

He disclosed that the HPV vaccine is a powerful tool in preventing cervical cancer and related diseases, and by vaccinating our young girls and boys, we can significantly reduce the burden of HPV-related illnesses in our state.

He said the State government has taken a bold step forward by introducing the HPV vaccine into the state immunization programme, with a commitment to ensuring that every eligible individual receives this vaccine, regardless of their socio-economic status.

“We call upon parents, guardians, and community leaders to support this initiative. Let us raise awareness about the vaccines safety, efficacy, and long-term benefits. Together, we can protect our loved ones and build a healthier future,” the Deputy Governor solicited.

He also urged all stakeholders to join hands in promoting HPV vaccination and make Niger State a shining example of proactive public health leadership.

In his address at the event, the state Commisoner for Primary Healthcare, Dr. Ibrahim Ahmed Dangana who was represented by his counterpart of Secondary and Tertiary Health, Dr. Tukur Mohammed underscored the importance of vaccines in our lives as it has helped in eradicating diseases such as small pox and poliomyelitis.

He disclosed that the state alongside other 21 states is rolling out the vaccines for the protection of children, especially the girl child, adding that every girl aged between 9-14 will be given a single dose of the vaccine which is highly efficacious in preventing infection with HPV types 16 and 18 known to cause about 70 percent cervical cancers.

The Commissioner also revealed that cervical cancer is the second most deadliest cancer after the breast cancer, leading to the dead of about 5000 women aged between 15 and 44 years, annually in Nigeria.

The Commissioner disclosed that over 6000 health care workers in Niger state have been trained on the handling and administering of the vaccines across the 274 wards of the state, assuring that the vaccine is safe as it has undergone all processes of safety and certification by the Nigerian government.

While appreciating the partners and other stakeholders in the health sector of the state for their sincere support, the Commissioner also requested that they become champions in the adoption of immunization and primary health care interventions in the state, assuring that the administration Farmer Governor Umar Mohammed Bago will continue to make gigantic development and progress in making communities in the state disease free.

There were goodwill messages from partners such as the UNICEF, WHO, NPHCDA among others. Highlights of the event were administration of the vaccines dose to some female children and short drama presentation by the Sabo da Kaza cultural group on the importance of vaccines.