All women are potentially at risk of developing cervical cancer at some point in their life, yet it is avoidable cause of death among women in Sub- Saharan Africa with a world incidence of 530,000 every year. It is the 4th commonest cancer affecting women worldwide with over 260,000 deaths reported in 2012. Low resource settings account for over 75% of the global cervical cancer burden. Uptake of HPV vaccination is limited in the developing world. WHO recommended that 2 doses of HPV vaccine could be given to young girls, based on studies in developed countries. However in Africa high rates of infections like malaria and worms can affect immune responses to vaccines, therefore three doses may still be necessary. The aim of this study was to identify barriers and facilitators associated with uptake of HPV vaccine.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted at Eldoret, Kenya involving 3000 girls aged 9 to 14 years from 40 schools. Parents/guardians gave consent through a questionnaire.
Of all 3083 the school girls 93.8% had received childhood vaccines and 63.8% had a second HPV dose, and 39.1% had a third dose. Administration of second dose and HPV knowledge were both strong predictors of completion of the third dose. Distance to the hospital was a statistically significant risk factor for non-completion (P: 0.01).
Distance to vaccination centers requires a more innovative vaccine-delivery strategy and education of parents/guardians on cervical screening to increase attainment of the HPV vaccination.