In a compelling address during the National launch of the introduction of the HPV Vaccine into the routine immunization schedule of the National Immunization Program in Abuja, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, the First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, voiced her concerns over the surging rates of cervical cancer within the nation.
Tinubu underscored that the initiative to incorporate the HPV vaccine into the routine immunization schedule is just the initial step in combatting this growing health crisis. She emphasized the vital need for comprehensive education and awareness campaigns about the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is the primary cause of cervical cancer.
The First Lady firmly stressed that it is not enough to merely introduce the vaccine; the government and healthcare authorities must also encourage regular screenings to detect cervical cancer early. Moreover, she highlighted the necessity of improving access to healthcare services and implementing behavioral interventions to promote healthier lifestyles.
“For me, I will recommend that girls who are under 18 years of age and sexually active, avail themselves the opportunity of this vaccine, to avoid a future of ill-health and possibly, death.
“ In conclusion, I want to emphasize that the introduction of HPV vaccine into our routine immunization schedule is a significant step forward in our mission to protect the health and future of our nations womenfolk and it will lead to a structured and systematic way of achieving a cervical cancer free generation.”
Tinubu noted that the initiative goes beyond preventing cervical cancer but also demonstrating the commitment of the administration of the President Bola Tinubu GCFR’s administration to gender equity and empowering women to take control of their health.
Speaking earlier, the Coordinating Minister for Health and Social Welfare, Prof Mohammed Ali Pate, emphasized that the vaccine is safe, effective and already in use in several countries of the world.
“No father or mother who really understand they can prevent a serious disease will stop their daughters from taking the vaccine, except they really do not understand”.
In their goodwill messages, the Sultan of Sokoto, health sector partners and others said the introduction of the vaccine will go a long way to enhance the health of the female folk in the country.
The First Lady, Senator Oluremi Tinubu then supervised the administration of the vaccine on the girls present at the event