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MWAN Adamawa, GFW Vaccinate 200 Preteen Against Cervical CANCER

* …Commend MD FMC Yola, Call For Government, Philanthropic Support For Wider Coverage

By Shamsiyya Mijinyawa

* MWAN, GFW procure 400 doses of Cervarix GSK to immunise 200 boys and girls in Adamawa

* HPV infection causes most cervical cancer cases; transmitted through sexual contact

* Cervical cancer is the 4th most common cancer in women globally and 2nd in Nigeria

* HPV types 16 and 18 cause 70% of cervical cancers

* Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers

* Vaccination against HPV is demonstrated to be the cost effective in nearly all countries

* Lament relatively low access to HPV prevention vaccines in less developed countries

* MWAN was introduced in Nigeria 44 years ago, in Adamawa 10 years ago

* MWAN Mission: To serve humanity in pursuit of positive health programmes with special emphasis on women and children

* MWAN Motto: Healing with the love of a mother.

* FGW Mission: To fund gender movements, to create meaningful change that will last beyond lifetimes

Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN) Adamawa State Chapter has, in conjunction with Global Fund for Women (GFW), procured 400 doses of Cervarix GSK to be able to immunise 200 Preteen in the s as a social responsibility.

Established 44 years ago, MWAN is a nongovernmental, non-profit, non-sectarian and apolitical organisation of female medical and dental practitioners, dedicated to promoting women’s health, improving professional development and personal wellbeing of her members, in addition to increasing the influence of women in all aspects of medical profession.

Launched ten years ago, MWAN Adamawa State Chapter has the aim to expand the role of women in the achievement and maintenance of health throughout Adamawa in particular and Nigeria in general.

Flagging off the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Vaccination at the Federal Medical Centre, FMC Yola, Adamawa State, Northeast Nigeria, on Saturday, May 29, 2021, the Medical Director, health facility, Prof. Auwal Muhammad Abubakar commended MWAN members for the initiative, pointing out that they have provided what was highly needed and that which was not readily available.

The MD encouraged them not to relent in rendering free, humanitarian services as a social responsibility. He has also assured them of his full support and maximum cooperation.

In her welcome address, the President MWAN, Adamawa State Chapter, Dr. Asabe Bwala explained that cervix is the narrow lower portion of the uterus that opens into the vagina.

Cervical cancer, the President said, used to be the leading cause of cancer deaths for women but now it is considered as the easiest female cancer to prevent with regular Pap tests, HPV vaccines and testing.

Dr. Bwala said that knowing the symptoms of cervical cancer could also lead to early detection and quicker treatment, adding that most cases would be diagnosed in women between the ages of 35 and 44.

The President has, on behalf of both MWAN and GFW thanked the Medical Director, Federal Medical Center, FMC Yola, for his kind gesture, support and cooperation, “in allowing us to flag off and implement this free programme – for 200 children – in this institution”.

Dr. Bwala has called on the government, philanthropic organisations and individuals to support the immunisation programme to be able to reach the grassroots.

In her remarks, Dr. Batulu Isa, the coordinator for the flag off, pointed out that immunisation against HPV infection, cervical cancer, as well as genital warts, is highly recommended for females from 9 to 26 years old.

Dr. Isa explained that the HPV vaccine is only effective when given to people before they become infected with the virus, adding that CDC recommended that preteen boys and girls to be vaccinated at the age 11 or 12 and before they become sexually active. “They get the vaccines in a series of three shots over 8 months period.

“Young women can get the vaccines through age 26 and young men through age 21, if they aren’t already exposed to HPV.

In their goodwill messages, the chairman Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) Adamawa state, Dr. Musa Abraham, the chairman Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) Adamawa state, Dr. Dahiru Yunusa, the chairman Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Dr. Batholomew Murey, the Head of Clinical Services and other Heads of Department of FMC Yola, have congratulated MWAN and GFW for the free vaccination initiative, which they said, would go a long way in saving lives. They have also assured of their maximum support and cooperation.

The flag off was slated to start with ten preteen. However, more than twenty received the vaccination.

Dr. Batulu Isa said that the exercise would continue on Monday, May 31, at the Public Health Department of the Federal Medical Centre Yola. Parents are invited to avail their children with the opportunity for the free vaccination.

Below is the full text of speech by he the MWAN President, Adamawa State Chapter

It is my privilege and pleasure, on behalf of MWAN Adamawa State Chapter, to welcome you today.

We are delighted to have you participate in the flagging off ceremony of Human Papilloma Virus (HPI) Vaccination for children between ages of 9 – 14 years for the prevention of cancer of the cervix; that many of you left your schedules to be here, serves as a reminder to us all, if how important our work is and we are honoured.

We want to specifically thank the Medical Director, Federal Medical Center, FMC Yola, Prof. Auwal Muhammad Abubakar, for his kind gesture – support and cooperation – in allowing us to flag off and implement this free programme – for 200 children – in this institution. MWAN Adamawa State Chapter and Global Fund for Women are very grateful to you sir.

MWAN has been in existence for 44 years and in Nigeria for the past 10 years. Our mission is to serve humanity in pursuit of positive health programmes with special emphasis on women and children with the motto of healing with the love of a mother.

Today’s event has been brought to us with special thanks to the Global Fund for Women (FGW) whose mission is to fund bold, ambitious and expansive gender movements, to create meaningful change that will last beyond our lifetimes.

Human Papilloma Virus HPV is the cause of most cervical cancers and is responsible for a substantial fraction of other anogenital and oropharyngeal cancers.

Cancer of the cervix is the fourth most common cancer in women globally and the second most common cancer among women in Nigeria. Two HPV types 16 and 18 cause 70% of cervical cancers and precancerous cervical cancer lessons.

Cancer of the cervix is one of the most preventable cancers. A comprehensive strategy based on vaccination against HPV has demonstrated to be the cost effective in nearly all countries. Yet, progress towards prevention is often frustrating with relatively low access to vaccines in less developed countries.

The vaccines currently available are the Cervix (GSK), which target the two most carcinogenic types HPV 16 ad 18 and two types of Gardasil (Merck).

Globally, 570 cased are seen per year in women and 60,000 cases in men are attributable to HPV, while in Nigeria, 14,943 new cases were seen in 2018 at ABUTH.

The Nigerian government and World Health Organisation have a plan for the elimination of cervical cancer as a public health problem in a document: Costing the National Strategic Plan on Prevention and Control of Cervical Cancer: Nigeria, 2017 – 2021 To:

– Vaccinate 90% of girls by age 15 (HPV Vaccine)

– Screen 70% of women twice in their lifetime (35-45)

– Manage 90% of women having invasive cervical cancer

Universal vaccination of girls and boys is the most effective strategy to avoid cases and deaths and to eliminate cancer of the cervix, which can be done in our lifetime.

MWAN Adamawa has therefore, in conjunction with GFW, contributed in reducing the national burden by procuring 400 doses of cervarix GSK to 200 boys and girls in Adamawa State.

(NEON Report)

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