A member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Okeke Oluchukwu, has provided support for the vaccination of 11 schoolgirls in Abuja.
The exercise was done on Monday at Piwoyi Primary Health Care Centre, through her foundation, Okeke Gloria Oluchukwu Initiative, with support from Sigma Pensions and Medicaid Cancer Foundation.
Oluchukwu, 26, provided the vaccination for the girls at the rate of N13, 000 per dose in the first of at least two laps of vaccination against the disease.
A graduate of Accounting from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State and currently serving at the headquarters of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in Abuja, Oluchukwu said her passion for public health and girl child education and development motivated her to lead the vaccination campaign against cervical cancer for young girls.
She called on the federal government to integrate vaccination against cervical cancer into the national immunisation campaign and increase access to screening for cancers in the country.
She said: “Cervical cancer is a great burden, but it is preventable. However, it is killing thousands of women in Nigeria and nothing is being done about it. It is alarming and a lot of women at the grassroots are suffering from this and they are not even aware of what they are suffering from, because of the low awareness creation.
“The girls that are supposed to be vaccinated are not because it has not been included in the national immunisation routine, making it unavailable to the girls and the youth.
“The essence of this advocacy is to call on the federal government, the Federal Ministry of Health and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency to include the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine into the national immunisation routine to make it available and accessible for girls at the grassroots.”
Dr Cyril Okeke, a retiree from the Federal Ministry of Health called on women in Piwoyi community to go for cancer screening. He also called on the federal government to integrate the HPV vaccine into the national immunisation routine.