Assessment of Infrastructural and Human Resource for Health Status and Readiness for HPV Vaccination in Rural Communities in Nigeria

Author(s): Olutosin Alaba Awolude, Sunday Oladimeji Oyerinde

Introduction: Human papillomavirus vaccination remains an important primary preventive measure for cervical cancer. Its inclusion in preventive messages and service provision by first-line health care workers in low- and middle-income countries needs to be routine. However, there is paucity of data on willingness by health care workers (HCWs) working in rural communities, to counsel and/or provide service to beneficiaries of HPV vaccination programs. This study evaluated available facilities for cervical cancer prevention and willingness to vaccinate daughters for HPV by these HCWs.

Materials and Methods: This was a descriptive, cross-sectional study among HCWs in all the primary and secondary health care facilities in the three local government areas of Ibarapa health zone of Oyo state, Nigeria. Descriptive statistics such as mean ± SD, frequency and proportion were used for socio-demographic data, awareness and willingness to vaccinate daughters by the study population.

Results: We observed that despite good awareness about cervical cancer (79.1%), awareness about HPV vaccine (41.9%) and their availability in Nigeria (31.0%) were low. Also, the uptake of the vaccine was low (1.8%). However, the majority of the respondents (78.6%) were willing to vaccinate their daughters. This, we believe, can be leveraged on the opportunity of already existing structure for childhood immunization in 77.8% of the facilities where the respondents practise.

Conclusion: It is important that narrowing of an existing gap between awareness of cervical cancer and practice of cervical cancer prevention should be initiated. Provision of more cervical cancer prevention educational programs and HPV vaccination opportunities will be key to achieving this.

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