Nigeria begins mass HPV vaccinations to fight cervical cancer

Nigeria has begun a mass vaccination cam­paign against human papillomavirus (HPV) in a bid to drastically reduce cervical cancer rates.

HPV, a common virus usually spread through intimate sexual contact, can in a minority of cases lead to cervical cancer.

In 2021, a major study found the HPV vaccine was cutting cases of cervical cancer by nearly 90%.

Nigeria’s Health Minis­ter, Muham­mad Pate, told the BBC the programme was vital as “at least 12,000 women every year have advanced stages of cervical cancer (in Nigeria)”.

“About 90% of them lose their lives because of that,” he added.

The nationwide campaign be­gan on Tuesday and the health ministry aims to vaccinate 16.6 million girls aged between nine and 14 by the end of 2025.