UCH takes HPV vaccination to rural areas
Prof. Temitope Alonge, Chief Medical Director of the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, has said that the hospital will extend its ongoing Human Papillo Virus (HPV) vaccination to rural areas.
Alonge made this disclosure on the sideline of the ongoing 9th Annual Scientific Conference with the theme “The Role of Pathologists in Oncologic Diagnosis and Management”, in Ibadan.
The five-day conference was organised by the West African Division International Academy of Pathology in conjunction with United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology.
Alonge said cervical cancer was the second silent killer in women, noted that vaccination against the virus was the surest way of preventing cervical cancer in Nigerian women.
“HPV vaccination is ongoing in UCH and we urge the media to help intensify creation of awareness of this programme, so that women can avail themselves and their young girls of the opportunity.
“I also call on the National Primary Health Care Development Agency to create an immunisation and molecular centre in each of the six geo-political zones of the country.
“If we have one or two cases coming out with malignancy of the HPV, it will be treated effectively with a comprehensive laboratory in place at the centres.
“UCH has started a centre even though this is the primary responsibility of the Federal Ministry of Health.
“By doing this, the spread of the HPV infection will be curtailed and this will consolidate our efforts in the provision of preventive measures of the cancer.
“There is also the need for prevention of HPV in young girls between the age of 10 and 13, who are not yet infected by the virus, can be immunised against HPV.
“A lot of women in the rural areas are sexually active and they are not sensitised about cervical cancer and vaccination against it.
“We intend carrying out this sensitisation and immunisation of the HPV in phases in our outstations.
“At our 15 stations, Family Medicine physicians and Public Health nurses will have a two-pronged approach for management of the immunisation.
“Young girls who have not yet gotten the virus will be immunised while those (including women) who have contacted it will be diagnosed through Pap smear tests and given effective treatment of the virus,” he said.
Alonge also said that a comprehensive chemotherapy centre would be built by management, adding that its foundation would be laid in September.
“Nigeria needs a better molecular diagnostic centre where comprehensive diagnosis could be carried out on women who have contacted the virus and other gynecological diseases can be treated.’’
He said that more patients would be alive if a proper comprehensive laboratory was put in place by management of the hospital.
He urged the media to help in disseminating information on HPV infection and immunisation for prevention of cervical cancer in the country.