Awareness, Acceptability and Uptake of Human Papilloma Virus Vaccine Among Cameroonian School-Attending Female Adolescents
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The purpose of this study is to assess awareness, knowledge and beliefs about HPV, cervical cancer HPV vaccine and willingness to vaccinate among adolescent females aged 12–26 years at clinics and schools in the North West Region of Cameroon where the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services (CBCHS) conducted a sensitization and education campaign. A questionnaire survey was administered among female adolescents in schools and clinics. Descriptive statistics including frequencies, percentages and proportions were generated for independent variables and bivariate analyses (Chi square test) were used to assess the relationship between independent and outcome variables. Data were analyzed using SAS Version 9.2. Out of a sample of 650 adolescent girls 553 willingly participated in this anonymous survey. Awareness of HPV (86.8%), cervical cancer (82.3%), and prevention of HPV infections through vaccination (75.9%) was significantly higher than in previous studies conducted in Cameroon and other developing countries. Higher perceptions of risk were associated with being sexually active (p = 0.0013), age (p = 0.0031) and level of education (p = 0.0274). Age and educational level were associated with HPV knowledge (p = 0.007 and p = 0.0008), respectively. The mean level of interest in HPV vaccination was 4.0 (SD = 1.27), which is above the mean. Our data indicate high awareness about HPV, cervical cancer and HPV vaccine among adolescents, and interest in receiving the vaccine and learning about the disease. CBCHS’ community education strategy effectively raised acceptability and generated demand for HPV vaccine, making it a potential model for HPV immunization in Cameroon and other developing countries.