By Olawale Asake

The Oyo State Government has launched the Human Papilloma virus, HPV, Vaccine and ready to be added into Routine Immunization, targeting girls from ages 9 to 14 across the State.

The Executive Secretary, Oyo State Primary Healthcare Board, Dr. Muideen Olatunji made this known while speaking with Newsmen at the Secretariat, Ibadan.

Dr. Olatunji described cervical cancer as one of the most common forms of cancer that affects women, hence, the need to prevent it through vaccination.

The Executive Secretary advised women who had been sexually exposed to ensure they undergo regular cervical cancer screening to prevent the disease, saying, it is a preventable disease.

He maintained that the State Government under the leadership of Governor Seyi Makinde was committed to providing quality health care delivery to its citizens, irrespective of where they are residing across the State.

Dr Olatunji commended the Federal and State Governments as well as Development Partners like World Health Organisation, WHO, and UNICEF for introducing the HPV vaccine and sensitizing people on the need to receive it, saying the vaccine would protect future generations of Nigerian girls and women against the danger of the disease.

He reassured residents of the State that the vaccine is safe, free and will be available in all primary healthcare facilities across the State in the next few days.

According to him, as against the rumours being pestering by some people, it became pertinent to restate that, the vaccine was not designed to reduce the population of the State, as some people have received it some years back and are doing well without any side effects 

” It is our continued partnership and indeed, collective efforts to protect young girls and women against the prevalence of cervical cancer disease which is a serious and second most fatal cancer that affects women especially females of productive age”.

Dr Olatunji added that, the Agency had trained and retrained those that would be administering the vaccine, which would be given on the Left Upper Arm left with measures put in place to reach every part of Oyo State. 

“We want to make sure no one is left out in this vaccination, for this reason we must utilize the opportunity as critical stakeholders to significantly reduce the prevalence of this disease to protect the lives of our citizens, particularly young girls between the ages of 9 and 14”.

“Though, we are starting from Schools but that does not mean that out of school girls within the ages would not benefit. We are going to find common places like markets, palaces or central areas for them to also partake in the exercise”

He further said that the vaccine has no consequences, but enjoined people to promptly visit Primary Health Care Centre around them if they noticed any reaction.

In a goodwill Message, the UNICEF SBC Consultant, Oyo State, Mr. Gbenga Olatunji pledged the continued support of the Organization to the immunization programme for the overall wellbeing of young girls and women in Oyo State.

Others at the event were Representatives of World Health Organisation, WHO, National Primary Health Care Development Agency while Oyo State Health Educator, Mr. Olaoye Olarinde and State Immunization Officer, Mrs Buzrat Adeoye also attended.

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