Health experts decry limited access to HPV vaccines, blame high cost

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Health experts have lamented the limited access to the Human Papillomavirus Vaccine (HPV), due to high cost and poor awareness, stressing that it was putting Nigerian women at risk of cervical cancer.

A regenerative medicine specialist and head of Reproductive and Sexual Health, at Nisa Premier Hospitals, Amina Isah, stated that cervical cancer has remained one of the major causes of fatality among women despite being 100 percent preventable.

She regretted that the burden was more prevalent among the rural populace who cannot afford the cost of the vaccine or treatment services. He, therefore, called on the government to make the services free for the populace.

The health expert made this known Wednesday at an event organized by Nisa Premier Hospitals to mark the 2023 International Women’s Day.

Isah also hinted at the need to ensure adequate awareness about early detection as according to him, “Cervical cancer is one of the killers of women.”

Isah added that it is not readily diagnosed. “We see them when it is already full-blown cancer and there is nothing one can do about it. You can only do conservative management. But, it is 100 percent preventable and 100 percent treatable if detected early.

Adding: “Government has a big role to play by making all these services free for the people, especially for people in the rural communities. About 80 per cent of the problem is in the rural communities.”

At the event, Isah also lectured women on regenerative medicine and its application in gynaecology. She called on all women to take their health seriously and go for regular screening.

Also speaking, Group Managing Director, Nisa Premier, Musa Shuaib, noted that women are still disadvantaged in many sectors. According to him, one of the factors limiting women from competing with their male counterparts is the extra burden they bear in terms of the traditional roles they play in their homes.

While encouraging women to embrace technology to enable them to compete favourably, Shuaib also advocated that the traditional roles played should be modified while workspaces should be adjusted to allow women to play the extra role.

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