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Free cervical cancer vaccine to commence by 2021

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The Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria (APHPN) has disclosed that the country is geared for free Cervical cancer vaccine by 2021 all over the country.

Dr Michael Oguntoye, Chairman of the APHPN Kwara Chapter made the disclosure on Tuesday during the association’s commemoration of the 2020 World Cancer Day Cocktail Lecture.

Oguntoye revealed that in line with the call for action on cancer, partners such as World Health Organisation (WHO) is actively engaged in supporting Nigeria to tackle Cervical Cancer in Nigeria, the second leading cause of cancer mortality in the country.

He explained that Cervical cancer can be prevented through vaccination, screening and treatment of pre-cancerous lesions and treatment of invasive cancer with palliative care.

The Chairman of the APHPN noted that at present, HPV Vaccines are only available in private health facilities in Nigeria.

He said: “Efforts are however being made to include the HPV vaccine as part of national routine immunization.

“HPV vaccination is recommended for girls between nine to 14 years of age and should be administered prior to becoming sexually active,” he said.

In his remarks, Dr Raji Razaq, Kwara Commissioner for Health disclosed that the state government has approved that all women across the 16 local government area be screened for cervical cancer and breast cancer.

He stated that relevant treatment would also be provided.

Razaq observed that the observance of the cancer each Feb. 4th, is an opportunity to rally the international and local community to end injustice of preventable suffering cancer.

“According to the World Health Organisation, across the globe every 17 minute, people die from cancer and between 30 to 50 of all cancer cases are preventable,” he said.

Dr Ibrahim Oyebanjo, an expert in cancer who delivered a lecture entitled:” Role of Public Health cancer Registry in prevention of cancer” emphasised on the need for cancer registry across Nigeria.

He lamented on the lack of registry for cancer cases in the country, quoting the WHO, that of all the cancer registry literature update for countries all over the world, only one percent of the literature is rated for Africa compared to 34 percent and 42 percent for Europe.

Also in her lecture, Dr Kike Adesina, a Specialist on cancer, spoke on the theme: “Female Genital cancers: strategies for prevention”, advised women on the need for early screening and detection of cancer.

She also advised against early introduction of girls to sexual orientation, adding that such girls stand high chance of cervical cancer.

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