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Saturday, June 15, 2024

A ONE DAY SENSITIZATION PROGRAM ON HUMAN PAPILLOMA VIRUS (HPV)BY THE RIVERS STATE PRIMARY HEALTH CARE MANAGEMENT BOARD.

The Rivers State Primary Health Care Management Board (RSPHCMB) recently organized a one-day sensitization event focused on the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and the importance of vaccinating girls aged 9-14.

The primary message of the event emphasized the critical role of the HPV vaccine in preventing cervical cancer. The organizers clarified that the vaccine serves as a preventative measure and should not be misconstrued as an endorsement of early sexual activities.

During the sensitization, organizers urged traditional rulers, religious leaders, and teachers to advocate for the vaccination of eligible girls within their communities. They highlighted that the vaccination is free and available at any government hospital or health center across the country.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common sexually transmitted infection which can affect the skin, genital area and throat. Almost all sexually active people will be infected at some point in their lives, usually without symptoms. In most cases the immune system clears HPV from the body. Persistent infection with high-risk HPV can cause abnormal cells to develop, which go on to become cancer.

Persistent HPV infection of the cervix (the lower part of the uterus or womb, which opens into the vagina – also called the birth canal) if left untreated, causes 95% of cervical cancers. Typically, it takes 15–20 years for abnormal cells to become cancer, but in women with weakened immune systems, such as untreated HIV, this process can be faster and take 5–10 years. Risk factors for cancer progression include the grade of oncogenicity of the HPV type, immune status, the presence of other sexually transmitted infections, number of births, young age at first pregnancy, hormonal contraceptive use, and smoking

Prevention

Boosting public awareness, access to information and services are key to prevention and control across the life course.

Being vaccinated at age 9–14 years is a highly effective way to prevent HPV infection, cervical cancer and other HPV-related cancers.

Screening from the age of 30 (25 years in women living with HIV) can detect cervical disease, which when treated, also prevents cervical cancer.

At any age with symptoms or concerns, early detection followed by prompt quality treatment can cure cervical cancer.

The sensitization program in various Local Government Areas will commence the 27th- 30th May, 2024.

The partners for this events are Gavi ( The vaccine alliance), World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nation Childrens Fund (UNICEF).

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