Enugu vaccinates 220,000 girls against HPV, records 66 percent success rate

Enugu State vaccinated 220,000 girls against the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) between Oct. 24 and Oct. 29, recording a 66 per cent coverage rate.

It conducted the exercise in schools, worship centres and other public places where girls of the age range of nine years to 14 years were found.

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection and is the causative factor of more than 95 per cent of cases of cervical cancer among women.

Many people with HPV do not develop symptoms and can infect others through sexual contact. Symptoms may include warts on the genitals or on surrounding skin.

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There is no cure for the virus and warts may go away on their own.

The vaccine that prevents the HPV from causing genital warts and cervical cancer is recommended for boys and girls.

Executive Secretary of Enugu State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Ifeyinwa Ani-Osheku, spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) about the vaccination on Sunday in Enugu.

She rated the success rate of the HPV vaccination at more than 66 per cent, which she said was highly commendable on a newly-introduced vaccine.

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“Enugu State got about 244,000 vials of the HPV vaccine and we have been able to vaccinate 220,000 girls.

“That puts our success rate to over 66 per cent. And I will say that for us and for a new vaccine, that is highly commendable.

“What we want to achieve by 2024  is that every girl child between nine years and 14 years old is vaccinated and we are able to immunise up to 90 per cent of them,’’ she said.

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Ani-Osheku explained that initial resistance to the vaccine was understandable as it was new, but expressed satisfaction that the agency was able to convince the people that it was safe and effective.

She said now that the vaccination campaign was over in schools and in public places, the HPV vaccine had been introduced into routine immunisation in Primary Healthcare Centres.

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