From Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin

The Edo State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (EDSPHCDA) has partnered the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Edo State Council on awareness campaign on Cervical Cancer in the state

During a meeting with the State Exco of the Union and media representatives, Mrs. Irene Uabor, Head of the Health Education Unit at the EDSPHCDA, announced the commencement of the vaccination programme in the state.

She said the first phase of the initiative took place in 16 states on October 21, 2023, with the second phase set to include 21 states, including Edo State, in the first quarter of 2024 adding that the focus of the programme is to vaccinate girls aged 9 to 14.

Mrs. Uabor highlighted that the vaccines are also available in private hospitals but at a high cost, making the decision of the Edo State Government to provide them free of charge a significant step towards ensuring the well-being of its citizens.

WHO representative, Mrs. Kate Okiogo, reassured the public that the vaccines are effective in controlling cervical cancer and urged parents to take advantage of this opportunity for their daughters.

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Commending the government’s initiative, Comrade Festus Alenkhe, Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists in Edo State, emphasised the importance of providing free healthcare services for the prevention of cervical cancer.

He proposed a training session for journalists to equip them with the necessary knowledge to educate the public and debunk any misconceptions about the vaccination programme against cervical cancer.

He also urged journalists to conduct thorough investigations to dispel any rumour and encourage parents to have their children vaccinated.

The collaboration between EDSPHCDA and Edo NUJ underscores the commitment of governor Obaseki’s led government to address the threat of cervical cancer through proactive measures, such as the HPV vaccination initiative.

The joint efforts aim to protect the health and well-being of the female population in Edo State and beyond.