HPV rejection: NSPHCDA, Media vows to end perception through aggressive campaigns in Nasarawa

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By David Okpashi

The Nassarawa State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, (NAPHDA) and media professionals under the auspices of Sustainable Media Advocacy Foundation (SMAF) Wednesday resolved to end perceived perception of Vaccination against Human Papilloma Virus amongst young girls between the ages of 9 and 14 years in the state through intensive campaigns.

It would be recalled that the State government had last week launched the Human Papilloma Virus Vaccination against girls of between 9 and 14 years in the state.

HPV is the most common viral infection of the reproductive tract, mainly transmitted through sexual contact, and most people become infected with HPV shortly after the onset of sexual activity.

Speaking during the advocacy meeting in Lafia, Chairman of Sustainable Media Advocacy Foundation (SMAF), Kalu Edika, stated that the advocacy meeting was organized to review activities of the organization as well chat the way forward.

According to the SMAF Chairman, the objectives of the Organization which included promotion of media engagement for sustainable development, promotion, design, organize and conduction of training and development programmes for communities.

Other areas of engagement by the organization include assisting other relevant organization in the promotion of similar objectives towards ensuring the realization of eradicating and sensitization of the targeted girl child with periodic review of activities of the body and chatting a way forward.

“The body has undertook many activities in the past as well enjoyed technical support from International organizations and Nasarawa State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NAPHDA), that are open for genuine partnership with local and international donor agencies, governments on issues of development that benefits humanity

Edika who loaded the members of the foundation for the sacrifice made in registering the body with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), urged them to be committed to the growth and development of the foundation at all time.

On his part, Director, Health Education and Social Mobilisation, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar Ibrahim, called on all stakeholders in the state to team up with other relevant agencies the fight against the deadly virus.

Represented by the state’s Health Educator, Ishaya Amegwa said NAPHDA would continue to work with the media to sensitize and create awareness on healthcare programmes for the benefit of all residents in Nasarawa state.

“Just last week, we had the Human Papilloma Virus vaccine launched here in Nasarawa State, and despite the myth and misconceptions about the vaccine, the media came to our assistance and created the necessary awareness that we needed at that the time to encourage the young girls to avail themselves for the vaccination.

“I want to assure you that we are going to work hand in hand to provide the needed awareness on our health programmes so that our indices will continue to grow.”

Also speaking, the Research Monitoring and Evaluation Technical Support Lead of The Challenge Initiative, Oluwafemi Timothy Rotimi, lauded SMAF for the collaboration ever since the implementation of its programme in the state.

Rotimi said the group had reached out to various communities and the public through its media platforms in order to communicate the positively outcome impacted on the wellbeing of the people of the state.

“The journey has been good at our end but we had a time frame and it is time for us to exit, having worked in the state for over three years.This meeting is to enable us chat a way forward on how to sustain the gains we have achieved in the course of our partnership with each other and then be able to document the achievements recorded in the state through our efforts,” he said.

He further stated that the TCI had also worked with religious organisations in debunking some myths and misconceptions about health related issues and enlightened the public on how to access health services at the various health centres across the state.

Also speaking, Executive Secretary, Nasarawa State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NAPHDA) Muhammed Usman Adis informed that a society without effective media collaboration is doomed.

Represented by state health educator, Ishaya Amegwa, Adis commended the Journalists for their effective reportage of activities of the agency, promising a stronger partnership with the body to promote public health awareness programmes and other related issues in the state.

Recalled that in Nigeria, an estimated 14,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and over 7,900 women die from the disease every year.

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