Cervical Cancer: Gavi to provide HPV vaccine to 16m Nigerian girls by 2025 …lauds FG for successful launch of vaccine Stephen Olufemi Oni, Ilorin

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Gavi, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, has commended the Federal Government’s effort for the successful launching of HPV vaccine across the Country.

Gavi is an international organisation created in year 2,000 to improve access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world’s low income countries.

Gavi gave the commendation through its Senior Country Manager, Jessica Crawford, during the Phase Two launch of the programme in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.

Crawford, represented by Hajia Binta Ismail, a Gavi Independent Consultant, while describing the launching as a significant step towards protecting a generation of women from cervical cancer, eulogised the Federal Government for a job well done, particularly for a successful rollout of HPV vaccine across 15 States plus FCT in phase one, which reached over five million girls.

The organisation also expressed gratitude to its partners, the Federal Ministry of Health, State Governments, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, and development partners for their commitments, stressing that Nigeria is on a new path to protect millions of girls from the devastation that cervical cancer brings.

She also stressed that Gavi recognises the commitment and leadership of Nigeria’s First Lady, Senator Oluremi Tinubu and Kwara State First Lady, Ambassador Olufolake AbdulRazaq for their support through the Governors’ Wives Forum (GWF) to HPV vaccine and other girls’ and women’s health programmes.

According to her, their support have played a significant role in the success of the phase one vaccine rollout, adding that they still count on them for a successful phase two launch.

While describing the HPV vaccine as the most impactful vaccine to prevent cervical cancer, she lamented that, “in our region and on our continent, it remains inaccessible for far too many, putting the lives of our daughters and sisters at risk and impacting our families negatively.”

She said: “We believe that no woman should have to face a cervical cancer diagnosis, when we have a tool that could prevent it. That’s why we at Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, alongside our partners, have set an ambitious goal: to reach 86 million adolescent girls worldwide by 2025 with the HPV vaccine. In Nigeria alone, we can reach over 16 million adolescent girls in that time.”

The flag off which was in collaboration with the Nigeria Governors’ Wives Forum (GWF) had the highest level of representation from other partners, which included WHO, UNICEF JSI SYDANI, among others.

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