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A production issue has caused Merck to distribute less HPV vaccines.
NGO Engages Youth to Drive Awareness on HPV Vaccine Uptake

A non-profit organisation, Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund, NSSF, with the support of Global Citizen has unveiled its third WeNaija campaign to engage Nigerian youths to drive awareness for the Human Papillomavirus vaccine uptake in their communities to prevent cervical cancer.

The General Manager and Chief Executive Officer of NSSF, Dr. Fejiro Chinye-Nwoko, while speaking at a virtual media parley, explained that the campaign tagged, ‘WeNaija Awareness to Action’ programme is a deliberate opportunity to raise awareness about the uptake of the HPV vaccine for girls between the ages of nine and 14 through video content creation.

The videos, according to her, are meant to serve as an advocacy tool to promote leadership and youth participation in advocating for essential healthcare improvements.

Chinye-Nwoko reiterated that the participation of Nigerian youths was crucial in raising awareness and promoting HPV vaccines against cervical cancer and for strengthened the healthcare system in Nigeria.

The CEO said NSSF recognises that an estimated 74.9 million Nigerians are aged between 18 and 35, as reported by the Population Pyramid 2023, and that the content creation contest is part of the NSSF’s efforts to improve health outcomes.

Giving insight into the campaign, Chinye-Nwoko, explained, “We aim to strengthen leadership and governance of the health sector by supporting the youth to advocate on important health issues that affect them and their communities such as HPV infection and vaccine availability.

“We aim to raise awareness about the HPV vaccine and its importance in preventing cervical cancer. The 2023 WeNaija campaign will ask youths to create video content that will raise awareness and uptake of the HPV vaccine.

Read Also: FG Introduces HPV Vaccine into Routine Immunisation

“The campaign recognises that social media is not just a tool for awareness but also a platform for civic engagement and creative expression.

“By actively participating in the discussions, sharing their thoughts, and creating content, youths become stakeholders in the conversation about healthcare and immunisation.

“We hope that more Nigerians will understand the benefits of vaccination and, more importantly, take their girls ages 9–14 to get the HPV vaccine once the national campaign commences. We also hope to build a vibrant community of advocates for healthcare improvement through active participation and social media conversations.”

She noted that the WeNaija contest is a national initiative that represents another step by the NSSF towards transforming the lives of vulnerable Nigerians, strengthening healthcare systems, and reskilling the Nigerian workforce.

“Every year for the WeNaija campaign, the NSSF collaborates with stakeholders, including the media, to raise awareness about specific health causes.

“With this year’s contest, we want to increase awareness of the benefits and availability of HPV vaccines in Nigeria, empower Nigerian youths with the skills and knowledge for video content creation, and increase opportunities for global employment via social media,” Chinye-Nwoko added.

Recall that the Federal Government on Tuesday introduced the HPV vaccine into the routine immunisation system which targets over seven million girls, the largest number in a single round of HPV vaccination in the African region.