Bauchi State moves to vaccinate girls against sexually-transmitted virus

The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine program in Bauchi State began on Saturday.

Given that HPV is the most common STI, it intends to target females between the ages of nine and fourteen.

In order to create activities to support the move, the Bauchi Primary Health Care Development Agency (BASPHCDA) established a Technical Working Group (TWG).

The TWG includes members who are specialists in medicine, religious and traditional leaders, representatives of civil society organizations, and development partners.

Dr. Rilwanu Mohammed, Executive Secretary of BASPHCDA, said 16 states, including Bauchi State, had been chosen nationwide for the first round of the immunization when he spoke to the group in Bauchi.

“The TWG’s overall goal will be to coordinate, introduce, and make decisions to ensure a smooth introduction.”

“The group will be responsible for mapping all relevant HPV stakeholders, monitor and track readiness of board and track funding for the rollout of the vaccine,’’ he said.

In his presentation, Dr Jibreel Mohammed, Director, Planning Research and Statistics at the agency said the vaccine was introduced to protect women from cervical cancer.

He said the HPV vaccine would be integrated into routine immunisation from 2024.

Mohammed expressed concern about the prevalence of cancer among women and stressed that collective efforts must be made to reduce the burden by targeting young girls for the vaccine.

He added that the campaign would be taken to schools, health facilities and worship centres for easy access to beneficiaries.

In his remarks, Mr Jinjiri Garba, Chairman, Bauchi Network of Civil Society Organisation assured of the network’s commitment to make a success of the vaccination programme. (NAN)