As part of efforts to reduce the prevalence of cervical cancer in Nigeria, a Staff Nurse in the United Kingdom, Kehinde Omoru and a Veteran Actress, Gloria Anozie-Young have called on women, especially those between the ages of 12 to 44 years to get Human Pappiloma Virus vaccines or pap smear screening.
They said the high incidence rate of the cancer type among Nigerian women is becoming worrisome.
Speaking at the Midwestern Oil and Gas office in Lagos, as part of plans to raise awareness on cervical cancer, Mrs. Omoru said many Nigerian women were suffering from the scourge because they are not vaccinated against it or do not engage in regular screening, adding that with early diagnosis, the cancer cells can be tackled from the bud and stopped.
â€œNigeria has the second largest population of ladies age 15 to 44 years with cervical cancer. There are also women who are already grooming cervical cancer, but are not yet aware. Even young girls are already coming down with the virus. So every woman should be encouraged to get the vaccines, especially those from ages 12 upwards.
â€œA proven way to prevent cervical cancer is to go for screening to find pre-cancer cells before they turn into invasive cancer. Once the Human Pappiloma Virus test detects it, cervical cancer can be stopped before it starts.â€
She said the virus responsible is the HPV virus, adding that about 40 of 100 hpvs are sexually transmitted. â€œFrom touching alone, HPVs can be passed on. Lesbians can transmit HPVs among themselves,â€ she said.
On her part, Mrs Anozie-Young, who is a former practicing journalist said her passion for womenâ€™s health spurred her into partnering with Mrs Omoru in creating awareness about the deadly disease.
â€œWe need to keep educating the young ones on need to prevent the scourge early enough. Some of us have passed the age where we can go get the vaccine, but young ladies should take the chance now.â€
She noted that what was particularly worrisome to her was that girls of 15 or 20 years now come down with cervical cancer, even though the virus causing the disease could stay in the body for up to a decade. â€œSo you can imagine when these little girls caught the virus. That is why a girl even as small as 12 years should get vaccinated against it.