From Esther Akaa, Lafia
The Nasarawa Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NAPHDA ) has tasked media Professionals in Nasarawa State to increase public awareness on the immunisation programme for young girls between the ages of 9 and 14 years against the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) recently launched in the state.
The Voice reports that HPV is the most common viral infection of the reproductive tract, mainly transmitted through sexual contact, and most people become infected with the virus shortly after the onset of sexual activity.
Speaking at a review meeting of the Sustainable Media Advocacy Foundation (SMAF) held in Lafia on Wednesday, the Director, Health Education and Social Mobilisation, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar Ibrahim, also called on all stakeholders in the state join hands in the fight against the deadly virus.
Ibrahim, who was represented by the state’s Health Educator, Mr. Ishaya Amegwa said NAPHDA would continue to work with the media to sensitise and create awareness on healthcare programmes for the benefit of all the residents of the state.
He said, “Just last week, we had the Human Papilloma Virus vaccine launched here in Nasarawa State, and despite the myth and misconceptions of some of the people about the vaccine, the media came to our aid and created the necessary awareness that we needed at that time which encouraged the young girls to avail themselves for the vaccination.
“I want to assure you that we are going to work hand in hand to provide the needed awareness on our health programmes so that our indices will continue to grow.”
Also speaking, the Research Monitoring and Evaluation Technical Support Lead of The Challenge Initiative( TCI) Mr. Oluwafemi Timothy Rotimi, lauded SMAF for working together with them since the implementation of its programme in the state.
Rotimi said the group had reached out to various communities and the public through its media platforms in order to communicate outcomes that had positively impacted on the wellbeing of the people of the state.
“The journey has been good at our end but we had a time frame and it is time for us to exit, having worked in the state for over three years.
“This meeting is therefore to enable us chat a way forward on how to sustain the gains we have achieved in the course of partnering with each other and then be able to document the achievements recorded in the state through our efforts,” he said.
He further stated that the TCI had also worked with religious organisations in debunking some myths and misconceptions about health related issues and enlightened the public on how to access health services at the various health centres across the state.
On his part, Chairman, Interfaith Forum, Dr. Mohammed Ali, appreciated the organisation and the media for educating the public on certain healthcare programmes in the state.
Ali noted that the religious bodies leverage on information from the media to sensitise their congregation during sermons in both churches and mosques.
He, therefore called on the media to be objective in reporting issues for the over all good of the state.
Earlier, the coordinator of SMAF, Mr. Kalu Idika said the aim of the meeting was to review past activities of the foundation and plan for next steps.
Idika said parts of the objectives of the foundation were to promote media engagement for sustainable development and design, organise and conduct relevant training and develop programmes for communities.
The Voice reports that the meeting reviewed past activities, identified challenges and provided the way forward.