Nigeria Vaccinates 7M Girls in Landmark Cervical Cancer Prevention Effort

LAGOS, Nigeria – Nigeria has successfully vaccinated seven million girls across the country against cervical cancer, a prevalent disease among young women in the nation.

The two-week vaccination program marks a significant milestone in protecting girls and women from this life-threatening disease. This effort was conducted in collaboration with the Gavi Vaccine Alliance, Nigeria’s Ministry of Health, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the World Health Organization (WHO).

“It’s a major breakthrough in girls’ health in Nigeria. In just two weeks, an impressive 7 million girls have been vaccinated against the human papillomavirus (HPV),” said Sania Nishtar, the chief executive officer of the vaccine alliance.

HPV, a common infection spread through sexual contact, can lead to cervical cancer, especially in its high-risk forms.

In October 2023, Nigeria introduced the first phase of the HPV vaccine into its routine immunization program to combat cervical cancer, which is the second-leading cause of cancer death in women in the country.

At the launch of the first phase of the vaccination in October 2023, Nigeria’s Health Minister Muhammad Ali Pate emphasized that the vaccine targets girls between the ages of nine and 14.

The WHO identifies cervical cancer as the second most frequent cancer among women in Nigeria, underscoring the critical importance of this vaccination initiative.–News Desk