Nigeria is looking to administer the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to some 8 million girls from nine to 14 during a five-day campaign to protect them from cervical cancer, which is common yet preventable.
“This is a pivotal moment in Nigeria’s efforts to lower the burden of cervical cancer – one of the few cancers which can potentially be eliminated through vaccination,” says Dr. Walter Kazadi Mulombo, WHO Representative in Nigeria. “We’re committed to supporting the government increase in access to the HPV vaccine to protect the health and well-being of the next generation of women.”
In 2020, 12,000 new cases and 8,000 deaths from cervical cancer were recorded. In Nigeria, it is the third most common cancer and the second most frequent cause of cancer deaths among women from 15 to 44. A new immunization protocol urges girls aged nine to 14 to receive a single dose of the vaccine known for preventing 70% of cervical cancers. The first phase is a five-day campaign that will mobilize more than 35,000 health workers and be implemented in 16 states and the Federal Capital Territory, during which 7.7 million girls will be vaccinated. The second phase of the vaccination introduction will take place in May 2024 in an additional 21 states.