Anambra State is set for the introduction of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination as it was among the phase two States to commence uptake of the vaccine.
The Executive Secretary, Anambra State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (ASPHCDA), Pharm Chisom Uchem said this during an advocacy visit from the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) at ASPHCDA office complex, Awka.
The Executive Secretary noted that with the support of CHAI, UNICEF, WHO and other organisations supporting the state in the HPV vaccine introduction, Anambra is geared toward success.
“This is a partnership that would lead to success as so much could be done when forces are combined.
“For Anambra State, we are ready for the introduction and uptake of the HPV vaccine as we await directive/timetable from the national. Now, we are putting finishing touches to our preparation to ensure that the challenges witnessed in phase one States were not repeated in Anambra.
“With proper communication and engagement of other line Ministries and Stakeholders such as Ministry of Women Affairs, Education, Traditional Rulers, Religious leaders, and Women Groups, will ensure full and optimal success of the exercise,” Pharm Uchem said.
She, however, noted that working with CHAI and other Organisations supporting the State would give fulfillment and joy that we would have a seamless HPV vaccine introduction in Anambra.
The CHAI Senior Associate, Mr Prince Friday, noted that they were in Anambra to provide technical support while working with the State HPV Technical Working Group (STWG) which has already been set up to ensure success of the HPV vaccine introduction in Anambra State.
He noted that the inclusion of critical Stakeholders in the HPV vaccine introduction would aid in debunking anti-vaccine messages and drive home messages of the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness.
“CHAI will be on ground to provide technical support the State needs through the development tools and will be working with the Agency daily once the readiness dashboard comes up,” he added.
The UNICEF Communication for Development (C4D) Consultant, Mrs Onyaidu Abraham noted that they were also available to support Anambra State for the HPV vaccine roll out.
“Advocacy, communication and social mobilisation are key to having a successful implementation. We must ensure to carry all stakeholders along as they will help in sensitising communities on the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine for a successful implementation in the State,” she said.
CHAI is a global health organisation committed to strengthening integrated health systems in low and middle-income countries, expanding access to care and treatment for HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, cancer, and other diseases.
It focuses on strengthening health systems and helping governments build the capacity for high-quality care and treatment programs.
CHAI in consortium with other international bodies is working with global stakeholders and national governments to expand access to and increase uptake of HPV vaccines for young girls between nine to 14 years of age.
The project’s overall goal is to combine expertise in policy, access, introduction, implementation, evaluation, and learning at the global and national levels to scale up, accelerate the introduction and increase the uptake of HPV vaccine across 40 countries.
Angel Network News (ANN) reports that other phase two States includes; Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Gombe, Imo, Kaduna, Katsina, Kogi, Kwara, Niger, Ondo, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara.