First Lady Decries High Cases of Cervical Cancer in Nigeria

Deborah Hassan

As Nigeria launches the introduction of HPV Vaccine into the routine immunisation schedule of the National Immunisation Programme, the First Lady of Nigeria, Sen. Oluremi Tinubu, has expressed deep concern over the high rate of cervical cancer in Nigeria.

Speaking at the national launch  in Abuja, she emphasised that the initiative does not end with the introduction of the vaccine into the routine immunisation schedule, adding that there must be a focus on education and awareness about the virus.

A press statement issued by her Special Assistant on Media, Busola Kukoyi, on Tuesday, October 24, added that Mrs Tinubu said regular screenings must be encouraged alongside improved access to healthcare and behavioural interventions.

Mrs  Tinubu said: “For me, I will recommend that girls who are under 18 years of age and sexually active, avail themselves of the opportunity of this vaccine, to avoid a future of ill-health and possibly, death.

“I want to emphasise that the introduction of the HPV vaccine into our routine immunisation schedule is a significant step forward in our mission to protect the health and future of our nation’s womenfolk and it will lead to a structured and systematic way of achieving a cervical cancer free generation.”

The first lady noted that the initiative goes beyond preventing cervical cancer but also demonstrates the commitment of the administration of President Bola Tinubu administration to gender equity and empowering women to take control of their health.

Speaking earlier, the Coordinating Minister for Health and Social Welfare, Ali Pate, said the vaccine is safe, effective and already in use in several countries of the world.

“No father or mother who really understands they can prevent a serious disease will stop their daughters from taking the vaccine, except they really do not understand”.

In their goodwill messages, the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, health sector partners and others, said the introduction of the vaccine will go a long way to enhance the health of the female folk in the country.


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