As the International Awareness Day for Human Papillomavirus (HPV) comes up on Wednesday, CancerAware Nigeria, campaigner on cervical cancer in Lagos, has called for the introduction of HPV Vaccine in the country, to ensure prevention of cervical cancer.
Executive Director, CancerAware, Tolulope Falowo, said cervical cancer is preventable through vaccination and screening, yet it is the second most common cancer among women in the country.
“We are calling on the Federal Government to introduce the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine into the country’s routine immunisation programme so eligible girls can have access to it. At least 12 other African countries have introduced the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine into their routine immunisation programme. Nigeria cannot be the exception especially because we have a huge burden of cervical cancer,” she said.
She explained that HPV is the world’s most prevalent sexually transmitted infection and is associated with life-threatening cancers including cervical, cancers of the anus, penis, vagina, vulva, mouth and throat.
Falowo said: “Cervical cancer is the second leading cause of female cancer in Nigeria. It is the most common female cancer in women aged 15 to 44 years in the country. Around 14, 000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year in Nigeria.”