School-based Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination initiative.

This is one of the latest initiatives of BWS that was launched in February 2014 with the aim of increasing awareness and uptake of human papillomavirus (the virus that causes cervical cancer) among school-aged children in Nigeria.

This initiative was necessitated by the realization that the low uptake of presently available and efficacious cervical cancer-preventing vaccines include low level of awareness, misconceptions and affordability. These three factors have been considered in proposing this laudable initiative to schools.

BWS aims to achieve increased uptake of HPV vaccination among Nigerian school-aged children by targeting Proprietors/Proprietresses, Principals, School heads and other strategic level managers in Secondary Schools.

As a school head, participating in the initiative not only shows that the health of the children under your care is of paramount importance to you, but also shows your commitment as a cancer control advocate who is helping reduce the incidence of cervical cancer in Nigeria.

As a parent, consenting to vaccinate your child against cervical cancer is a worthy proof that the future of our children and that of the Nation is of paramount importance.

A dozen reasons why we should vaccinate our school-aged children*  against cervical cancer!

  •  Cervical cancer is the  second largest killer-cancer of women in low and middle-income countries , as well as the second highest killer-cancer among Nigerian women – second only to breast cancer
  • Of the 14,550 cases of cervical cancer diagnosed in women 15-44 years of age annually in Nigeria, as many as 9,659 of them die of cervical cancer..1This means about 64 of every 100 Nigerian women diagnosed of cervical cancer in one year lose their lives.
  • Based on Cervical Cancer Global Crisis Card published by Cervical Cancer-Free Coalition, the mortality rate of this cancer in Nigeria is 22.9%.2
  • In Nigeria, 21% of young females (15-24years) have had sex before the age of 15 years whilst 7% of males have had sex before the age of 15 years.1
  • The mean age of first sexual intercourse among Nigerian women (25-49years) is 16.2 years while among men (25-54years) is 20.7years.2
  • Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers in the world… as the Humanpapilloma virus (HPV), is responsible for causing 100% of cervical cancer cases
  • About 23  out of every 100 Nigerian women in the general population are estimated to harbour cervical HPV infection at a time.2
  • Vaccination against any disease (for which the vaccine is available) remains one of the most effective primary prevention strategies everywhere in the world
  • About 30 years ago, millions of Nigerians died due to smallpox, polio and cholera… Today, vaccination has tremendously or completely curbed deaths due to these diseases.
  • ‘Poorer’ African Countries like Rwanda and Uganda have started vaccinating their school-aged girls against cervical cancer…. Nigeria should not be left out.
  • Studies have tried to compare the effectiveness of age-based and school-based vaccination in achieving proper cervical cancer vaccination among children within the target age group and it has been proven that school-based vaccination is the most effective strategy to reach the target age group with the HPV vaccination.
  • Since  the median age of sexual debut among Nigerian female has been found to be 16.2years1, this means that in about 4 years down the line, the average 12-year old ‘kid’ of today might start becoming sexually active, hence increasing their chances of being exposed to humanpapilloma virus (HPV). Their being vaccinated today is a guarantee that they will not be part of the statistics of positive cervical cancer cases tomorrow.

*Boys, even though are not regarded as top priority can also benefit from HPV vaccines.

1. Bruni L, Barrionuevo-Rosas L, Serrano B, Brotons M, Cosano R, Muñoz J, Bosch FX, de Sanjosé S, Castellsagué X. ICO Information Centre on HPV and Cancer (HPV Information Centre). Human Papillomavirus and Related Diseases in Nigeria. Summary Report 2013-12-16. Available online at . Accessed January 14, 2014

 2 .Cervical Cancer Free Coalition. Cervical cancer global crisis card. Available online at  Accessed January 12, 2014

To register your school or child for the school-based vaccination programme or for further information and enquires, kindly Contact Us  and we will respond within 2 working days.