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Conspiracy theories hamper Nigeria’s HPV vaccine push to fight cervical cancer

By Tonye Bakare (AFP)November 22, 2023, , ,

In October 2023, Nigeria's government launched a new vaccine drive aimed at curbing cervical cancer, which claims around 8,000 lives in the West African country every year. But the campaign has also seen the spread of conspiracy theories.

Nigeria announced in late October its plan to introduce the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine into its routine immunisation programme.

On October 25, 2023, Abuja-based radio host Ahmed Isah told listeners of his daily "Brekete Family Show" that the government’s cervical cancer vaccination drive may be harmful to young women who are the targets of the campaign.

The popular programme is broadcast to a live studio audience and streamed simultaneously on Facebook and YouTube. Recordings of the show are also published on both platforms. Guests frequently include top government officials. [...]

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