Bauchi govt flags off HPV vaccination for women of reproductive age

The Bauchi State Government has officially launched a campaign to introduce the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine to prevent cervical cancer among women of reproductive age.

This vaccination campaign focuses on girls aged 9-14, ensuring they are protected against HPV as they transition into adulthood in preparation for their childbearing years.

During the launch ceremony at Government Comprehensive Secondary School Bakari Dukku, Governor Bala Mohammed expressed his optimism that the HPV vaccine would significantly reduce the burden of cancer in the state.

Governor Bala Mohammed highlighted his administration’s collaboration with development partners, emphasizing their readiness to conduct mass vaccinations for female children aged 9-14 across all 20 Local Government Areas in the state.

He further revealed that the vaccination campaign would reach health facilities, public and private schools, markets, social gatherings, religious institutions, and communities to ensure access for schoolgirls.

The Governor urged parents, caregivers, school proprietors, headmasters, principals, and all relevant stakeholders to take advantage of this important opportunity and ensure their children and students receive the vaccine.

State Commissioner of Health, Dr Adamu Umar Sambo, emphasized the significance of the HPV vaccine introduction, stating it would significantly reduce the risk of cervical cancer, particularly among young girls aged 9-14 in Bauchi State and Nigeria as a whole.

Despite resource challenges, Dr. Sambo underscored the Bauchi State Government’s commitment to strengthening the healthcare system, especially for women and children. 

He praised the state’s continued investment in healthcare infrastructure and equipment and its dedication to fulfilling MoU arrangements with development and donor partners.

Dr Sambo noted that the state had allocated 15 per cent of its budget to the health sector, emphasizing the importance of providing efficient health services and introducing the State Emergency Transport System and Ambulance services to facilitate patient transportation in urban and hard-to-reach communities.

He assured that the Ministry would focus on policy formulation for improved healthcare services, coordination, sector-based approaches, and the enhancement of health agencies and institutions at all levels.

Dr. Sambo stressed the safety and effectiveness of the HPV vaccine, calling on parents, caregivers, schools, and traditional and religious institutions to ensure students are vaccinated against cervical cancer.

Executive Chairman of Bauchi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (BASPHCDA), Dr. Rilwanu Mohammed, highlighted the warning signs of cervical cancer in women of reproductive age, including irregular bleeding and pain during intercourse.

Dr. Mohammed acknowledged the support of development partners, including W.H.O., UNICEF, and the Clinton Health Initiative, as well as the vital role of stakeholders, traditional and religious leaders, media, CSOs, and faith-based organizations in raising awareness and successfully implementing the vaccination campaign.

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