ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)- The Bauchi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency says it has administered human papillomavirus vaccine on 46,592 girls to protect them against cancers.
The agency said it achieved 72 per cent coverage during the October round immunisation exercise conducted in schools and communities across the 20 local government areas of the state.
The spokesman for the agency, Mr Ibrahim Sani, said that Bauchi State had been adjudged among the three HPV roll out best performing states in the country.
He said the state targeted 638,185 girls for immunisation against the disease, adding that the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency supplied 468,400 doses of HPV vaccine to facilitate smooth conduct of the exercise.
The agency, he said, implemented a HPV vaccine data bank and created three zones to simplify the monitoring process during the exercise.
”The summarised situational data report on HPV coverage by age group, revealed that 135,615 girls aged nine years old received HPV vaccine, representing 21 per cent of the total identified group and 324,977 between the ages of 10 and 14 years, representing 51 per cent. This put the current percentage of the state total coverage at 72 per cent while the total number of uncovered population stood at 28 per cent, respectively.
“Cervical cancer is the third most common cancer and the second most frequent cause of cancer deaths among women aged between 15 and 44 years,” he said.
Mr Sani also identified insecurity, shortage of vaccine, late submission of daily call-in data and noncompliance as some of the challenges experienced during the exercise.
According to him, the exercise is being implemented in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health, GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, United Nations Children’s Fund, World Health Organisation and other development partners.
Commenting on the exercise, some residents of Bauchi State, Mrs Easter Simon and Mrs Diana Joshua, applauded the gesture aimed at curbing cancer burden in the country.
Also, a cancer survivor, Mrs Elizabeth Kah, advised parents to avail their children for HPV vaccination to protect them against the disease.
“Cancer treatment is expensive and life threatening, especially if presented late to the health facilities,” she said.