By Tasi’u Hassan
Adamawa state government has kicked off the long-awaited Human Papillomavirus Vaccination campaign to all females of 9-14 years across the 21 local government areas of the state.
The vaccination campaign, which commenced on October 24th, will be rounded up on 28 of the month.
Flagging off the exercise at Luggere Primary Health Care Centre, Yola North local government area of the state, the State Governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, said the human papilloma vaccination is adjudged to be a safe and effective strategy for the prevention of cervical cancer, which is a leading cause of death in Nigeria. “Thus, this vaccination campaign will go a long way in saving lives, as well as improving the health and well-being of the good people of Adamawa State”, he added.
This effort, according to Fintiri, is complimentary to the high priority that his administration has given to the health sector, adding that over the years, his administration has built many new and renovated many existing primary and secondary healthcare facilities to improve access to quality healthcare services to the people of Adamawa State.
The Governor, represented by his deputy and State Chairman, Taskforce on Primary Health Care, Professor Kaletapwa Farauta, advised parents to present their children for the vaccination exercise, explaining that the girls of 9 to 14 years were chosen for the vaccination, to offer them the need immunity against the Virus.
” I was briefed that the choice of girls aged 9-14 years for the human papillomavirus vaccination is strategic, so as to offer them needed protection and immunity, ahead of exposure to the virus. More still, the vaccine has been used in several parts of the world with huge success; these countries do not have the burden of cervical cancer anymore. Consequently, I urge all parents and caregivers to avail their eligible children and wards to ensure they are vaccinated”, the governor said.
In his address, the state Commissioner of Health, Chief Felix Tangwami dispelled the rumour that the human papillomavirus vaccine is meant to reduce human population, pointing out that the virus, which is transmitted through sexual intercourse can only be effectively prevented through vaccination.
The Executive Chairman, Adamawa State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Sulaiman Sa’idu Bashir, said the exercise is being conducted at schools, markets, and government-owned healthcare facilities, among other strategic locations across the state in order to reach both in and out of school children, who are within the ages of 9 to 14 years.
The Executive Chairman appreciated the unwavering support of the state government towards the campaign and explained that the agency has extra doses that will be used to vaccinate those who might not be reached during this campaign at Primary Health Care Centres for two months.
The representatives of UNICEF, WHO, and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, among other partners, lauded the Adamawa state government’s support to the health sector and advised Ministry of Education to ensure that schools are accessible throughout the exercise because the targeted children are mostly in schools.
The representative of the Chairman, Yola North Local Government Area, praised the Adamawa State Primary Health Care Development Agency for proper coordination of the vaccination campaign and enjoined traditional rulers to ensure that people present their children for exercise, for maximum benefits.
On his part, the District Head of Nasarawo Abba, Alhaji Abubakar Aliyu Mustapha, thanked the Primary Health Care Development Agency, for choosing his area for the commencement of the vaccination campaign and promised to ensure that no eligible child is left behind.