A qualitative study of HPV vaccine acceptability among health workers, teachers, parents, female pupils, and religious leaders in northwest Tanzania

Remes, P., Selestine, V., Changalucha, J., Ross, D.A., Wight, D. , de Sanjosé, S., Kapiga, S., Hayes, R.J. and Watson-Jones, D. (2012) A qualitative study of HPV vaccine acceptability among health workers, teachers, parents, female pupils, and religious leaders in northwest Tanzania. Vaccine, 30(36), pp. 5363-5367. (doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2012.06.025)

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Abstract

Background

As human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines become available in developing countries, acceptability studies can help to better understand potential barriers and facilitators of HPV vaccination and guide immunisation programs.

Methods

Prior to a cluster-randomised phase IV trial of HPV vaccination delivery strategies in Mwanza Region, Tanzania, qualitative research was conducted to assess attitudes and knowledge about cervical cancer and HPV, and acceptability of and potential barriers to HPV vaccination of Tanzanian primary schoolgirls. Semi-structured interviews (n = 31) and group discussions (n = 12) were conducted with a total of 169 respondents (parents, female pupils, teachers, health workers and religious leaders).

Results

While participants had heard of cancer in general, most respondents had no knowledge of cervical cancer, HPV, or HPV vaccines. Only health workers had heard of cervical cancer but very few knew its cause or had any awareness about HPV vaccines. After participants were provided with information about cervical cancer and HPV vaccination, the majority stated that they would support HPV vaccination of their daughter to protect them against cervical cancer. Opt-out consent for vaccination was considered acceptable. Most preferred age-based vaccination, saying this would target more girls before sexual debut than class-based vaccination. Potential side effects and infertility concerns were raised by 5/14 of participating male teachers.

Discussion

Reported acceptability of HPV vaccination amongst parents, teachers and other community members was high in this population. Respondents stressed the need to provide adequate information about the vaccine to parents, that also addresses side effects and infertility concerns.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Wight, Professor Danny and Remes, Dr Pieter
Authors: Remes, P., Selestine, V., Changalucha, J., Ross, D.A., Wight, D., de Sanjosé, S., Kapiga, S., Hayes, R.J., and Watson-Jones, D.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Public Health
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Vaccine
ISSN:0264-410X
Published Online:22 June 2012

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