Member, Lagos State House of Assembly, Desmond Elliot, has assured that he would move a motion for the inclusion of Human Papilloma Virus, HPV, vaccination awareness in the already-existing cancer control programme of the state ministry of health.
The ace actor and politician in collaboration with Breast Without Spot, BWS, made this known to journalists in his constituency, Sururlere, during a walk with BWS, as well as some youths on World Cancer Day which was meant to raise awareness for HPV vaccination under vaccine4cancer with the global theme ‘We CAN, I CAN’.
According to him, “the HPV vaccine costs about a hundred dollars (N30,000) per person, that is a lot of money. So, what I am trying to advocate, which I am hoping by the grace of God to do, is a talk in the form of a motion.”
Elliot explained that Lagos State has done what it could to have a cancer centre for advocacy, testing, assisting patients and alerting them too, adding that what they want to do is to include awareness.
Elliot affirmed that the people would be sensitised when the federal government brings in this vaccine into Nigeria, stressing that the African society does not have adequate measures to prevent cases that can cause cancer.
“In this case, we are dealing mostly on how to prevent breast and cervical cancer. Though there are vaccines for that, but they are very expensive. It is not something a state government in an African society can handle.”
Elliot emphasised that those in the grassroots need to be sensitised about cancer.
“They need to know what they should stay away from or some things they shouldn’t take so much of. These things happen with our blood cells and once they do not develop well, they become cancerous. Prostate cancer kills men. Once you get to the age of 40, you need to do the screening. People need to be sensitised of these things,” he said.
Similarly, the National Programme Manager, Ms. Lola James, said there is need for Nigerians to be aware of the vaccine.
“Nigerians need to know that there is a vaccine that can prevent cervical cancer. As an NGO, we talk about sustainability of a project. Vaccines are still expensive. What we can do is to urge the government to apply for the global vaccine allowance. Other countries are doing it.
‘‘Therefore by adopting the American Cancer Society taught Direct Action Organising, DAO, model, we are working very closely with Elliot to co-sponsor the motion, “she added.

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