Muyi Aina NPHCDA Boss
The Executive Director, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, (NPHCDA) Dr. Muyi Aina

NPHCDA Pledges to Tackle Cervical Cancer

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), yesterday, said the agency would continue to collaborate with the sub-nationals to strengthen routine vaccination for female school children in the effort to reduce cervical cancer in the country.

Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the NPHCDA, Dr. Muyi Aina, stated this in Ilorin, Kwara State, yesterday, during the flag-off of free Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine against cervical cancer among school children in the state.

A total of 787 school children across the three senatorial districts of the state were vaccinated at the event.

The programme was a partnership between the NPHCDA and Kwara State government.

He said, “cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women globally and the second most common cancer affecting women in Nigeria.”

Aina, who was represented by Dr. Sheu Hassan, said the HPV vaccine was a very important vaccine, adding that, “it prevents the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is the most common viral infection of the reproductive tract and causes more than 95 per cent of cases of cervical cancer.”

He said all eligible girls between the ages of 9-14 years across 193 wards in the 16 local government areas of Kwara State would be vaccinated against cervical cancer during the five days programme.

“I believe that together, we will achieve the goal of this exercise. At least 80 per cent eligible girls aged 9 to 14 years will be reached during the five days intensification, after which the HPV vaccines will be accessed by our girls through routine immunisation services in our PHC facilities.

“Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women globally and the second most common cancer affecting women in Nigeria.

“It is estimated that 604,000 cases with 342,000 deaths occurred globally in 2020, and an estimated 12,075 cases and 7,968 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.”

The NPHCDA boss, who said the HPV vaccine was free, safe and effective, urged stakeholders to mobilise family members, friends, and communities to ensure that all eligible girls get vaccinated.

“Let me thank and appreciate the Kwara State Government for its support in strengthening PHC in the state. I want to specially thank Her Excellency Professor Olufolake AbdulRazaq for her role in the fight against cervical cancer.

“HPV vaccines with corresponding devices and operational funds have been provided to the states to support this exercise. I must thank his Excellency, the governor of Kwara state, for his regular release of counterparts’ funds to support PHC activities, including the HPV introduction.

“Your support, that of the Governors Wives forum, wives of LGA chairmen, traditional/religious leaders, civil society organisations,

Women groups, media, and other relevant stakeholders remain paramount to the success of the HPVV introduction and other PHC activities.

“The NPHCDA remains committed to collaborating with the sub-national levels to strengthen routine immunisation and other PHC services for better health for all,” Aina added.

In her remarks, the wife of the Kwara State governor, Amb. Olufolake AbdulRazaq, assured of efficacy of the vaccine, while she charged stakeholders to dispel negative rumours and misconception against the HPV vaccines.

“Today’s event set the tone for an ambitious, inclusive strategy to accelerate eliminating cervical cancer as a public health concern. Elimination is within the reach of all hence we in Kwara are committed to towing this path to ensure that we seize the opportunities that are within our reach now, so that our girls will live free of this disease.

“In complementing the efforts that culminated in incorporating the HPV vaccine into the National routine immunisation schedule and today’s roll out however, I urge key stakeholders in respective communities to continue to amplify awareness and sensitisation on benefits of presenting eligible children for the vaccine,” she added.