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W.H.O. HPV CONSULTANT TO EX-BENUE FIRST LADY: “ESLF’S AWARENESS CAMPAIGN ON HPV VACCINE IS AWESOME”!

The Founder, Eunice Spring of Life Foundation (ESLF) and immediate past First Lady of Benue State, Dr. Eunice Ortom has disclosed that her Foundation has been in the vanguard of the fight against cancer especially cancer of the breast and provided cash support for a plethora of patients to help them undergo chemotherapy and other forms of cancer treatment.

Dr. Ortom stated this during a courtesy call on her by the World Health Organisation Consultant on Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) for Benue State, Mrs. Winifred Uzoamaka Onodu at ESLF’s Head Office in Makurdi the State capital and confirmed that her Foundation was currently executing an awareness campaign about the cervical cancer-causing virus and the forthcoming free vaccination against HPV for girls starting 24th October, 2023.

The ESLF Founder who pointed out that driven by the conviction that prevention was better than cure, the Foundation had carried out similar sensitisations in the past and expressed willingness to take the current awareness beyond schools to churches, mosques, socio-cultural groups and the media to enable the message trickle down to the grassroots.

She said ESLF promotes education especially for the girl child, had completed the construction, furnishing and equipping of an ICT centre at Queen of the Rosary Secondary School, Gboko, a single sex school for girls and continues to intervene in the various thematic areas of Health, Education and Research, Governance and Economic Empowerment with a bias to Agriculture and Environment through which many women and youths have been empowered.

Dr. Ortom said ESLF had established a Health and Skills Facility (ESLF-HSF) in Makurdi to ensure sustainability for the Foundation’s humanitarian services and ensure availability and accessibility of specialized medical services for patients in line with the Foundation’s vision of “a society without barriers to decent living”. The Facility which she said has a Rehabilitation Centre to cater for mental health patients, a Maternal and Child care hospital, Open Patients Department (OPD) and a skills acquisition centre for youths to be managed by private partners with the right skill set and sought partnership with WHO and similar organisations with the requisite expertise to reposition the facility to best serve humanity.

Responding, the WHO Consultant on HPV Mrs. Onodu expressed willingness to partner with ESLF in view of its various interventions in health including drug and substance abuse describing the Foundation’s current School-Based Awareness Campaign on HPV as awesome and poised to drive the message to the grassroots.

The Consultant who thanked Dr. Ortom for taking on the HPV campaign expressed joy that ESLF keyed into it and implementing it in a way that would reduce attendant challenges bordering on consent, rumour mongering and vaccine hesitancy among others.

Another health expert on the visiting team, Dr. Anita Ejideh described ESLF’s awareness campaign as timely and already making the impact necessary for the HPV immunisation to succeed.

Highpoints of the visit which also had ESLF Board of Trustee members, Mrs. Saratu Orga and Prof. Magdalyn Dura in attendance, included presentation of souvenirs of a book on ESLF and another titled, “Curbing Domestic Violence” by Dr. Eunice Ortom.

While the ESLF awareness campaign steadily destroys the survival of Human Papilloma Virus in the society, it is in same breath building bridges of partnership with other persons and organisations that are also in the trenches fighting this war against the deadly HPV.

Emmanuel Enenche Umele

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