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HPV vaccine preventing cancer not reducing population – Dr Olatunji

HPV vaccine.webp

Contrary to insinuations in public domain,  the Government of Oyo state has sensitized the public on the importance of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine, saying it is not in anyway harmful or an avenue to reduce population of Africa.

Dr Muideen Olatunji, the Executive Secretary of Oyo State Primary Healthcare Board, emphasized the importance of the HPV while addressing a press conference on Monday.

Olatunji, while addressing the journalists at the event held in Ibadan, the state capital, said that the state has launched the HPV Vaccine into the Extended Programme on Immunization (EPI) targeting girls between 9-14 years of age in the state.

He described cervical cancer as one of the most common forms of cancer that affects women, stressing that the disease must be tackled head-long.

According to him, the vaccine was produced so as to prevent the disease and not to reduce the population.

Olatunji while speaking further, maintained that the government has launched the programme at St. Paul Anglican Primary School, Yanbule, Bashorun and over 300 pupils have been vaccinated.

Olatunji said, “It is pertinent to reiterate that the vaccine is not designed to reduce the population of the state. This is a demonstration of our continued partnership and indeed, collective efforts to protect young girls and citizens of the state against the prevalence of cervical cancer disease.

“Cervical cancer is a serious, and second most fatal cancer that affects women especially females of productive age.

“However, it’s important to note that Cervical cancer is a preventable disease, which can be controlled through routine human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine.

“We have trained and retrained those that will administer this vaccine, and there are supervisors who will regularly take measures of safety and there are measures put in place to checkmate the administration of these vaccines. We have a structure in place to reach every part of Oyo State.

“We want to make sure no one is left out in this vaccination, for this reason we must utilize the opportunity as critical stakeholders to significantly reduce the prevalence of this disease to protect the lives of our citizens, particularly young girls between the ages of 9 and 14.

Cervical cancer globally accounts for a huge number of deaths and is the fourth among the cancers that kill women in the world. HPV which causes cervical cancer is preventable, so what we are doing is cost-effective, and safe so that we don’t have to wait for treatment or management when cancer has set it. Prevention is better than treatment and cure.”

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