Samuel Luka, Bauchi
The Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency (BSPHCDA) has on Wednesday held an orientation meeting for media on Human Papiloma Virus (HPV) Vaccine Introduction.
Speaking during the meeting, the Executive Chairman of the Agency, Dr. Rilwanu Mohammed said Bauchi state has commenced preparation for the HPV vaccination.
Dr. Rilwanu Mohammed who noted that the vaccination exercise is targeted at girls from 9-14 years old, said once the vaccine is ready, the exercise will commence across the state.
“We want you to inform the public about the intended vaccination, we have had a meeting with religious leaders and some traditional leaders on why we want to administer Human Papilloma vaccine which is coming up in September “, he said.
Dr. Rilwanu said that the aim of holding the meeting was to enable journalists ask all the necessary question on why government intends to carry out the vaccination exercise with a view to informing and educating members of the public about its importance.
“If the vaccine is available, we are going to administer it to ladies from 9-14 years, if it is not available, we will target 9 years old ladies only in order to give them the prevention”, he said.
The SPHDA Executive Chairman who stated that a technical working group have set up under his Chairmanship, said they have discussed with officials of World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other partners on how to carry out the HPV vaccine.
“We hope that when we start the vaccination, we are not going to have much problem because information has already reached members of the public”, he further explained.
Dr. Rilwanu said that the agency is going to use all forms of languages that people can understand to create awareness and pass information about the vaccine so that parents will allow their children to get vaccinated.
According to him, it has been identified that early marriage also contribute to the problem of Papilloma virus, as such, ladies from 9-14 years old are targeted for the vaccine to protect them in case they are married off early.
Presenting a paper with the title; ‘Role of Media Practitioners in the roll-out of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine Campaign’, State Technical Officer HPV Introduction, World Health Organization (WHO) in Bauchi, Mustapha Mai-Iyali Umar urged journalists to actively involved in ensuring that the vaccination exercise succeeds.
Mai-Iyali called on the media to actively support the state technical working group by reporting its activities while working in synergy to develop, adapt and translate inter-education and communication (IEC) for the HPV vaccine.
He further appealed to the media to support the effort through Information dissemination using various outlets and platforms, among others.