Leke Baiyewu, Abuja
The House of Representatives has called on the Federal Government to make Human Papillomavirus vaccine a routine in Nigeria, as part of measures towards eradicating cervical cancer in the country.
At the plenary on Wednesday [today], the House urged the Federal Ministry of Health to “add HPV vaccine to the list of national routine vaccination/immunisation programme in Nigeria.”
The House also urged the Federal ministries of women affairs; health; and Sports & Youth Development to create awareness on the causes, prevention and management of cervical cancer as well as the preventive role of HPV vaccine as recommended by the World Health Organisation.
The call was based on a motion moved by Mr. Bamidele Salam, titled, ‘Need for Proactive Measures to Prevent the Spread of Cervical Cancer in Nigeria.’
The lawmakers unanimously adopted the motion.
Salam noted that cervical cancer is the most common type of cancers in African region, saying, “The House is worried that the Human Papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted infection that has no cure, but there is a vaccine (HPV vaccine) that can prevent it if given before a girl or woman is exposed to the virus.
“The House is disturbed that in 2017, the World Health Organisation reported that 14,089s Nigerian women had cervical cancer, making it the second leading cause of cancer death in Nigeria.
“The House is aware that Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations have helped reduce this deadly disease in developed world but it is not part of the national routine vaccination in Nigeria despite its availability and capacity to prevent cervical cancer among girls and women.”
Salam stressed that WHO recommends HPV vaccine as part of the routine vaccination in all countries, and that over 71 countries had included it in their routine vaccination.
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