UNICEF declares cervical cancer vaccine safe 

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) in partnership with the Kwara state government Tuesday flagged off the introduction of free Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine against cervical cancer among school children.

Also, UNICEF has declared that the vaccine had been proven to be safe and highly successful.  

At the rollout of the HPV vaccine in Ilorin, the state capital, the executive director and chief executive officer of the NPHCDA, Dr. Muyi Aina, said cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women globally and the second most common cancer affecting women in Nigeria. 

At the event where a total of 787 school children were vaccinated, UNICEF country representative in Nigeria, Cristian Munduate, assured that “the vaccine is safe and has little side effects if any.”

Aina, who was represented by Sheu Hassan, said that the HPV vaccine is a very important vaccine, adding that “it prevents the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is the most common viral infection of the reproductive tract that causes more than 95 per cent of cases of cervical cancer.

“Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women globally and the second most common cancer affecting women in Nigeria. It is estimated that 604,000 cases with 342,000 deaths occurred globally in 2020, and an estimated 12,075 cases and 7,968 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.”

The NPHCDA boss said the HPV vaccine is free, safe, and effective, urged stakeholders to mobilise family members, friends, and communities to ensure that all eligible girls get vaccinated.