Stakeholders Urge Priority Vaccination For Nigerian Girls To Combat HPV, Others

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Advocacy Visit
Members of the advocacy group presenting resource materials to Angwan Hausawa Community leaders during the advocacy event in Abuja.

Stakeholders advocating for public health in Nigeria are emphasising the urgent need to prioritise Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination among Nigerian girls aged 9 to 14 and promote mental well-being in the country.

This call to action was reiterated during an advocacy event held at the Angwan Hausawa Community, Apo, in Abuja. The event was organised by the Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI), the Vaccine Network for Disease Control (VNDC) and the Nigerian Psychological Association, FCT Chapter.

Founder of VNDC, Mrs. Chika Offor underscored the critical role of vaccination in averting HPV-related diseases, particularly cervical cancer. She emphasised the need for early immunisation as a proactive measure against HPV-related cancers. Offor also acknowledged the challenges hindering high vaccination coverage rates, including limited awareness, cultural beliefs, and logistical barriers.

Assistant general-secretary of the Nigerian Psychological Association (NPA), Dr. Jurbe Bisji highlighted the pivotal role of community support in nurturing mental well-being. He advocated for open dialogues, supportive environments, and resource exchange to foster a culture of emotional resilience.

Nigeria coordinator for Prevent Epidemics/Immunisation Programmes at GHAI, Prof. Emmanuel Alhassan emphasised the importance of education, particularly for girls, as a catalyst for societal progress and economic prosperity. He encouraged the community to invest in girls’ education, noting its transformative impact on future generations and the broader community.

Coordinator of the Health Sector Reform Coalition (HSRC), Dr. Mustapha Lecky emphasised the need to improve health insurance coverage in Nigerian communities. He highlighted the Giftship Programme in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) as ideal for community health coverage and proposed engaging with local leaders, schools, and religious places to raise awareness and organise health insurance coverage. He also stressed the role of community organisations and civil society organisations (CSOs) in facilitating health insurance coverage through advocacy, education, and resource mobilisation.

The stakeholders collectively advocated for the prioritisation of HPV vaccination among Nigerian girls and the promotion of mental well-being within the community. Their efforts aimed to address the challenges and barriers that hinder public health initiatives and equitable access to healthcare services, particularly among adolescent girls. Through collaborative efforts and targeted interventions, the stakeholders seek to mitigate the impact of HPV, bolster mental health resilience and empower future generations to thrive in a healthier, more equitable society.

The stakeholders are committed to advancing public health initiatives and promoting holistic well-being within Nigerian communities. Their advocacy for prioritised vaccination and mental well-being initiatives reflects a collective effort to address public health challenges and promote positive health outcomes for all community members.

Racheal Abujah
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