By Kemi Olatunde
Federal Government is set to introduce the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine into the national immunization schedule.
The exercise will be in collaboration with development partners and it takes effect in September, 2023.
Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib revealed this during a quarterly review meeting of South West traditional leaders’ committee on Primary Health Care (PHC) delivery in Akure, yesterday.
According to him, the HPV vaccine is highly effective in preventing the most common types of Human Papilloma Virus that causes cervical and other types of cancers.
Describing the PHC as the foundation of a well-functioning health sector, he said that it will serve as the initial point of contact for individuals seeking healthcare services and plays a crucial role in disease prevention, health promotion, and community engagement.
He explained that the fortification of the PHC system, ensures quality Healthcare services to all Nigerians.
He said that immunization, particularly the eradication of all forms of vaccine preventable diseases including Poliovirus remains government top priority, stating that the involvement of traditional leaders in promoting vaccination campaigns and community mobilization have been pivotal in the progress thus far.
He revealed that from January to June 2023, a total of 189,310 children in the Southwest zone lack access to or were never reached by any routine immunization.
He said; “Lagos has the highest count, with 79,279 zero dose children, followed by Oyo state with 53,812 children, Ondo with 30,280 children, Osun with 19,737 children, Ogun with 3,204 children, and finally Ekiti with 2,998 children who have never received any form of vaccination effort.”
He called on traditional leaders to consistently advocate for immunization and other primary healthcare (PHC) services.
Declaring the event open, Acting Governor of Ondo State, Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa reiterated government resolve to continue to promote and protect health of residents of Ondo State.
While commending traditional leaders for their support for COVID-19 vaccination, noted that their involvement and their endorsement of PHC services will enhance confidence among residents.
He said that government will continue to priotise health care service delivery in the state as part of the REDEEMED policy trust stating that all levels of health system have been supported to ensure that residents get the best health care without being subjected to unbearable expenditure. through the commencement of the Orange Health Insurance Scheme.
While urging the royal fathers to encourage their communities to embrace PHC as the first port of contact as a way of appropriating the benefit of early detection and prevention measures in maintaining good health, he revealed that the state is committed to the full implementation of PHC under one roof of the Federal Government (FG).
Chairman, Southwest Traditional leaders’ Committee and Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi spoke at the event aimed at providing avenue to deliberate on ways to bring improvement to PHC.
While praying for the quick recovery of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, he urged the Southwest to support the President, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu especially in the aspect of health which he said is critical to the development of the nation.
In his welcome address, the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi commended the FG for putting the programme in place calling on all to embrace PHC and thanked NPHCDA for eradicating polio in Nigeria.