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The Ekiti state government has confirmed plans to start vaccinating young girls in the state against the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which can lead to cervical cancer.

Ekiti News reports that the vaccination drive is set to kick off on Monday, the 27th of May, 2024, and will take place in health facilities across all 16 Local Government Areas of the state.

Dr. Gilbert Seluwa, the Director General of the State Primary Health Care Development Agency revealed this on Wednesday during a coordinating meeting with relevant Stakeholders on Human Papilloma Virus Vaccine Introduction for girl child between the ages of 9-14years.

Dr Seluwa who was represented by the State Health Educator, Mrs. Olajumoke Oguntoye stated that “the vaccination campaign exercise would run for 5 days, between 27th – 31st May 2024,”

The Director General noted that the HPV vaccine would be administered in primary healthcare facilities, schools, religious centres and communities across the state.

He outlined the critical role of the HPV vaccine in preventing cervical cancer, emphasizing that the vaccine is a preventive measure and not an endorsement of early sexual activity.

Dr. Seluwa added that the vaccine would prevent infections from all types of human papillomavirus that commonly caused cervical cancer and other types of HPV-related cancers including cancers of the vulva, vagina and genital warts.

The DG encouraged parents to release their children to be vaccinated to protect them against cervical cancer, urging them not to be discouraged by false narratives.

The representative of National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Mr. Oluwadamilare Alabi, in his goodwill message, underscored the importance of stakeholders in the success of the programme.

He urged them “to fulfill their roles, especially in mobilization and sensitization efforts to educate parents on the importance of allowing their children to take the vaccine.”

Alabi charged the stakeholders to report any rumour concerning the vaccine within their immediate community to the Health Educators, as there has been a history of unnecessary stories fabricated by many social media influencers about new vaccines.

Present at the event were the UNICEF representative, Mr Jimoh Adebisi, State Immunization Officer, Mrs. Omolabake Ogundola, representative of National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Mr. Bala Mohammed and top government officials from the Agency.

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