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Borno Govt, WHO Flags-Off HPV Vaccination In Borno 

The Borno State Government in Collaboration with World Health Organisation (WHO) have flagged-off the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination targeting 447,126 girls aged 9 to 14 years.

Speaking at the flag-off in Maiduguri on Tuesday, the State Commissioner of Health, Prof. Baba Malam Gana, said the launch of the vaccination in Borno marks a pivotal step to safeguard the health of young girls to secure a brighter and healthier future. 

“By vaccinating our girls against HPV, we are not only protecting them from this deadly disease but also empowering them to lead healthy and fulfilling lives..

“I assure you that the vaccine is safe, and effective, and has been thoroughly tested and approved by health authorities worldwide.

“It is a gift of health that we are providing to our daughters, ensuring that they have the best possible chance of a life free from cervical cancer,” Gana said.

In his message, the State Coordinator of WHO, Dr Salisu Audu represented by Dr Aisha Kadai, described the flag-off in Borno as a milestone.

According to Audu, infection with HPV is implicated in 99 percent of cervical cancer cases.

“Cervical cancer, fueled by persistent infection with certain strains of HPV, has long been a silent and formidable adversary, claiming the lives of far too many women each year. 

“Yet, amidst the challenges, we find hope in the power of prevention through vaccination. Introduction of HPV vaccine represents a proactive and strategic approach towards preventing cervical cancer,” Audu said.

He urged for collective effort in creating awareness about cervical cancer, its risk factors, preventive measures and available health services to ensure communities were informed and empowered to make informed decisions about their health.

“WHO recommends that HPV vaccination should be part of a comprehensive approach to the prevention of cervical Cancer.

“This approach should include primary prevention (vaccination against HPV), secondary prevention (screening and treatment of precancerous lesions) and tertiary prevention (diagnosis and treatment of invasive cervical cancer),” Audu said.

He lauded the role of Canada Global Initiative for Vaccine Equity (CanGive) for collaboration with WHO in Borno.

In his speech, the Executive Secretary of Borno State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Mohammed Arab, said the agency would provide comprehensive training for health care providers and educators to ensure effective vaccine administration and communication. 

“The introduction of the HPV vaccine in Borno is a landmark achievement in our public health efforts. It underscores our commitment to preventing cervical cancer and protecting the health of our young girls.

“I urged all stakeholders – health professionals, community leaders, parents and guardians to support this vital initiative. Together, we can prevent cervical cancer, save lives, and build a healthier future for our daughters, ” Arab said.

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