Knowledge and Uptake of Human Papillomavirus Vaccine among Female Adolescents in Port Harcourt. A Call for Urgent Intervention

Ibinabo Laura Oboro *

College of Medical Sciences, Rivers State University, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

Daprim Samuel Ogaji

Africa Centre of Excellence in Public Health and Toxicological Research, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Background: Infection with high-risk types of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) has been associated with the development of cancers in both genders, affecting the genital, oropharyngeal and anal regions. Safe and effective vaccines are available against high-risk types which are responsible for majority of cases of cervical cancer. This study was conducted to assess the level of knowledge and uptake of the HPV vaccine among female adolescents in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

Methodology: A descriptive cross-sectional survey conducted among in-school female students of both public and private secondary schools in Port Harcourt metropolis, aged 9 - 19 years. A total of 328 participants were recruited using multi-stage sampling. Information on socio-demographics, sexual history, knowledge of HPV, its vaccine and vaccine uptake were collected using a self-administered, semi-structured questionnaire. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 23. Descriptive and analytical tests were performed to determine associations and predictors of vaccine uptake.

Results: The level of knowledge of the availability, protective role, and schedule for administration of the HPV vaccine was poor (≤36%). Only 2.1% of girls interviewed were vaccinated with 42.9% of these having taken only one dose, thus being incompletely vaccinated. The mean age at vaccine uptake was 13.4±1.2 years. The most common reason given for not having taken the vaccine, is unawareness of the vaccine (322/328). Uptake of the vaccine was better among students at public schools.

Conclusion: Social mobilization towards primary prevention of HPV infection should also focus on adolescents. Social media and school health programs/ clubs should be exploited/ improved to provide detailed and adolescent-friendly information necessary to stimulate improved uptake of the vaccine and thus reduce the devastating potential consequences of infection with the HPV.

Keywords: Adolescents, cervical cancer, Human Papillomavirus, Nigeria, vaccine

How to Cite

Oboro, I. L., & Ogaji, D. S. (2023). Knowledge and Uptake of Human Papillomavirus Vaccine among Female Adolescents in Port Harcourt. A Call for Urgent Intervention. International STD Research & Reviews, 12(1), 1–11.


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