Bauchi State on Saturday moved to vaccinate girls in the state against Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).
It plans to target girls between the ages of nine years and 14 years as HPV is the most common sexually-transmitted infection.
The Bauchi Primary Health Care Development Agency (BASPHCDA) consequently inaugurated a Technical Working Group (TWG) to develop activities geared to support the move.
The TWG has medical experts, religion and traditional leaders, civil society organisation and development partners as members.
Addressing the group in Bauchi, Executive Secretary of BASPHCDA, Dr Rilwanu Mohammed said 16 states, including Bauchi State had been selected nationwide for the first phase of the vaccination.
“The overall purpose of the TWG will focus on coordination, introduction, and decision-making for smooth introduction of the vaccine.
“The group will be responsible for mapping all relevant HPV stakeholders, monitor and track readiness of board and track funding for the rollout of the vaccine,’’ he said.
In his presentation, Dr Jibreel Mohammed, Director, Planning Research and Statistics at the agency said the vaccine was introduced to protect women from cervical cancer.
He said the HPV vaccine would be integrated into routine immunisation from 2024.
Mohammed expressed concern about the prevalence of cancer among women and stressed that collective efforts must be made to reduce the burden by targeting young girls for the vaccine.
He added that the campaign would be taken to schools, health facilities and worship centres for easy access to beneficiaries.
In his remarks, Mr Jinjiri Garba, Chairman, Bauchi Network of Civil Society Organisation assured of the network’s commitment to make a success of the vaccination programme.