08 Jun HERALD NEWS: NGO Urges FG To Introduce Free HPV Vaccination, Screening
By: Peter Okolie, Herald News, Nigeria
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June 5th, 2020
A non-governmental organisation, Onyebuchi Chris Ifediora (OCI) Foundation has called on Federal Government to introduce Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine into the national routine immunisation for young girls in the country.
Dr Chris Ifediora, OCI Founder, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Onitsha on Friday.
Ifediora said more deaths from cervical cancer, which is caused by certain types of HPV, may occur by 2025, if the Federal Government fails to tackle the menace head-on.
“These are not just women, but wives, mothers, sisters, aunties, in-laws, associates and so on.
Ifediora said the government could partner with institutions and international agencies to prevent cervical cancer by ensuring free vaccination, screening and treatment of pre-cancerous lesions as well as treatment of invasive cancer.
“In most developed worlds, these things are free. In Nigeria, we acknowledge that there are challenges but it is doable,” he stressed.
He said his foundation had launched Arm Our Youths (ArOY) Health Campaign, which seeks to introduce anti-breast and cervical cancer campaigns into the regular curriculum of all senior secondary schools.
Ifediora said the campaign had begun in all eligible schools in Anambra and Benue States and would have been inaugurated last month, but for the COVID-19 lockdown.
“The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) is also going to introduce some breast and cervical prevention teachings into their three-week orientation program across the country.
“The programme is evidence-based, and has been endorsed by the Harvard Medical School and the World Health Organsation (WHO),” he explained.