The Nasarawa State Government has announced plans to administer vaccines to girls between ages 9-14 years to protect them against cervical and breast cancer.
Dr. Mohammed Addis, Executive Secretary, Nasarawa State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NAPHDA), disclosed this at a stakeholders’ meeting on Thursday in Lafia.
The executive chairman was represented at the occasion by Ismaila Oko, Programme Manager, State Emergency Routine Immunisation Coordination Centre.
Dr. Addis explained that Nasarawa State is among the 16 states in the country selected for the first phase of the implementation of the vaccine.
He explained that the vaccine had been procured already and is currently stored in the state for onward distribution to various centres.
He therefore commended President Bola Tinubu, Gov. Abdullahi Sule and Dr. Fa’Isal Shua’Ib, Executive Director, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, for their roles in ensuring the availability of the vaccine in the pilot states.
On his part, Oko said that cervical and breast cancers account for about 50 per cent of all cancer-related mortality.
“Based on the National Demographic Health Survey conducted in 2018, cervical and breast cancer account for about 50 per cent of cancer-related mortality.
“And the survey also revealed that out of 10 women diagnosed with cancer, only two are likely to survive at the end of the day,” he added.
The programme manager further explained that it was the result of the survey that prompted the Federal Government and other partners to develop the vaccine.
He said that the vaccine would be administered for seven days in all communities in the 13 local government areas of the state.
He explained that their staff would visit houses, schools and worship centres within the period to ensure that the targeted girls are given the vaccine.
Similarly, Mr Mohammed Ibrahim, Director, Health Education and Social Mobilisation at the NAPHDA, said the stakeholder’s meeting was aimed at carrying community leaders along in the project.
He explained that community leaders are expected to help enlighten the public about the introduction of the new vaccine to protect women against cancer.
He added that the vaccine had passed the clinical examinations and was approved by all the relevant agencies at the international and national levels. He further said that the vaccine was certified and cleared by the relevant authorities and therefore safe for use.
The meeting which featured questions and answers, had in attendance representatives of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Jama’Atu Nasril Islam (JNI), media, LGA Coordinators of National Orientation Agency, Heads of Primary Healthcare Centres from the LGAs among others. (NAN)