By Taiwo Adeniyi
The federal government has been urged to subsidize the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine used in the treatment of cervical cancer, to reduce prevalence of the disease among Nigerian women.
The Executive Director, Sure Start Initiative, Binta Shehu Bamali, who spoke during a workshop in Abuja, said the increasing cases of cervical cancer called for urgent intervention.
“If we want to have a healthier generation of boys and girls, government should make the vaccine available. If they can’t do it for free, let it be subsidized so that children can have access to it,” she said.
She attributed rise in the cases of cervical cancer to low level of awareness, culture and nonchalant attitude of some health workers.
“Ante natal section of hospitals should endeavour to enlighten women on cervical cancer and not just focus on safe delivery. Nurses and other health workers should take it upon themselves to spread the word,” she said.
A consultant gynaecologist at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital (ATBUTH), Habibah Ismail, urged women to always go for screening, adding that early detection could save lives.
“It is prevalent because of the high rate of the HPV infection among the female population but it is preventable,” she said.