JSI, Kogi Govt. tasks Journalists on Cervical cancer, HPV prevention

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By Odimayo Olatunde Fredrick

A Non-Governmental Organization John-Stow International, (JSI) in collaboration with the State Primary Health Care Development Agency, (KPHDA) has tasked practicing journalists in the State to drive the campaign in preventing cervical cancer and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) in Kogi State.

They gave the charge on Tuesday during a media dialogue on Cervical cancer and HPV vaccination introduction in Kogi State held in Lokoja.

Giving an overview of Human Papilloma Virus, (HPV) program partners initiative, (HAPPI), the Social Behavioral Change Focal Person for John-Stow International, (JSI) Kannah Terri Ibrahim said in 2020, over 600,000 Women were affected by cervical cancer worldwide.

“Out of this figure, more than 50 percent lost their lives. Those diagnosed of cervical cancer according to research are Women living in developing Countries like Nigeria” he stated.

Ibrahim emphasized that, the organization is kick starting the second phase of the vaccine in which Kogi State happen to be one of the beneficiary State.

“We started this campaign in 2023. 16 States benefitted from this vaccination campaign and now Kogi State will join other states to benefit. Our target is girls within the ages of 9 to 14 years of age.

“We will be engaging stakeholders such as traditional rulers, religious leaders, schools, out of school girls, community engagement, (hard to reach areas) to ensure effective implementation of this vaccines in Kogi State and Nigeria in general”he added.

According to him, the media plays a vital role in the implementation of the vaccines across the State, stressing that, they will help to counter any misconception concerning the vaccine.

In her presentation on “understanding the cervical cancer disease, burden in Nigeria” a consultant with KSPHCDA Dr Mary Onoja Alexander disclosed that,
cervical cancer and breast cancer are the most common in Women among development Countries.

Dr Alexander posited that, the intake of the vaccine will help stabilize the immune system to fight the virus in the body.

She averred further that, early vaccination will help in the protection of the girl child against cervical cancer.

“HPV vaccine protects against certain types of cancer caused by human papilloma virus. It works by stimulating the body’s immune system to produce antibodies against the human papilloma virus. When a person receives the vaccine, their immune system recognizes the viral proteins in the vaccine and produces a response that protects against HPV infections”.

“Australia, Canada, USA have made cervical cancer vaccine a routine. But in Africa, it is not the same. The environment is a major factor for this deadly disease. That is why we are saying that vaccination is the safest way to prevent cervical cancer in Africa”.

She, however, added that, the flag off of the vaccine process in Kogi State will be done on the 27th of May 2021 across the 21 Local Government Area of the State.




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