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The Government of Nigeria, through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), will introduce the Human Papillomavirus vaccine on September 25, 2023. HPV vaccines offer significant value in the prevention of cervical cancer and related diseases. By administering the vaccines before HPV exposure, they effectively reduce the risk of HPV infection and subsequent development of cervical cancer.

The HPV vaccine is a one-dose regimen targeted at a multi-age cohort of girls aged 9-14 years. It is expected that over the next two years, 3,005,381 girls aged 9 years and 14,329,029 girls aged 10-14 years will be vaccinated.

HPV vaccination will commence with a multi-age-cohort (MAC) campaign targeting girls aged 10-14 years through school and community-based outreach and mobile strategies. The routine introduction will then follow with fixed and school outreach sessions from health facilities, targeting 9-year-old girls and any 10-14-year-olds that missed their vaccination during the MAC campaigns

The first phase introduction will begin in September 2023 in 16 states (FCT, Nasarawa, Benue, Bauchi, Adamawa, Taraba, Kano,f Kebbi, Jigawa, Abia, Enugu, Bayelsa, Akwa-Ibom, Ogun, Osun, Lagos) across the six (6) geo-political zones of the Country. In the second phase, expected to commence in 2024, the remaining 21 states will be reached.

Successful HPV vaccine introduction and achievement of target coverage rates will require strong multisectoral collaborations across relevant stakeholders such as Faith-based organizations, line ministries, education institutions, parents/guardians, and other priority groups.

CSOs have been recognized as an important Gavi alliance partner that can significantly contribute to immunization programming by complementing public service delivery by generating demand for immunization, tackling misinformation and gender-related barriers, linking and engaging other relevant groups, and mobilizing eligible populations to uptake health interventions.

CSOs, however need to be primed with training support to ensure they have adequate technical capacity to participate in the HPV vaccine introduction planning and implementation processes and position themselves for Gavi’s Civil Society and Community Engagement (CSCE) funding opportunities.

IVAC, through their in-country partner, WAVA is conducting a two-day training to and equip CSOs with accurate information about the HPV vaccine, its benefits, safety profile, and the rationale for its introduction. The training will help CSOs identify potential roles and responsibilities they can play in the successful introduction of the HPV vaccine in the country. This training will also be the starting point to initiate regular coordination between CSOs and RI program managers at the national and sub-national levels.

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