Acceptability of the Human Papillomavirus(HPV) Vaccine among stakeholders in two selected Schools in Lusaka

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Kucheba, Fortress
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Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common STI and major cause of cervical cancer globally. Zambia has one of the highest cervical cancer rates in the world. Approximately 54 cases per 100 000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer annually with 1,400 dying (SALC Report, 2012). Preliminary results from the pilot vaccine immunization program in Zambia had shown a mixed picture on the response to the vaccine. A qualitative case study was conducted in two schools (Kings Highway and Kalingalinga Primary) which participated in the pilot for HPV rollout to assess acceptability of the HPV vaccination. Data was collected through Key informant interviews, In-depth-interviews, Focus group discussions and analyzed using Thematic Framework Analysis. Media reports and commentaries from bloggers were also reviewed for triangulation. The study findings revealed that acceptability of the HPV vaccine was influenced by Individual, Interpersonal and Service factors. Individual characteristics like knowledge of the vaccine, perceived risks and benefits, attitude towards the vaccine, fear of injections and girls being perceived as too young to receive the vaccine, influenced acceptability. Interpersonal processes and primary groups like family, friends, and peers also influenced acceptability by shaping social identity, nature of support, and role definition. Services factors, which included regulations, policies, and informal structures, also influenced acceptability of the vaccine by either constraining or promoting recommended behaviours. The study identified factors that influenced acceptability at individual, interpersonal and service levels. The findings suggest low acceptance of the HPV vaccine due to low levels of knowledge and awareness of cervical cancer, HPV and HPV vaccine. There is therefore an urgent need to inform the public about HPV, HPV vaccine and cervical cancer if there is to be a high widespread acceptance of the HPV vaccine.
Papillomavirus Vaccine , Sexually transmitted diseases--Prevention and control--Lusaka,Zambia , Sexually transmitted diseases--Epidemology--Lusaka,Zambia