Cervical Cancer and Human Papilloma Virus Knowledge and Acceptance of Vaccination among Medical Students in Southwest Nigeria

Funmilayo F. Adejuyigbe, Balogun R. Balogun, Adekemi O. Sekoni, Adebukola A. Adegbola


Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the commonest viral sexually transmitted infection in the world and the leading cause of cervical cancer. Medical students as future healthcare providers will play a role in influencing patients’ decision to receive HPV vaccination. This study was aimed at determining the knowledge of cervical cancer and HPV as well as the acceptance of HPV vaccination among medical students of the University of Lagos. A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out among 280 medical students sampled using stratified sampling technique. Self-administered questionnaires were used to collect relevant data. Most respondents were aware of cervical cancer (95.4%), HPV (85.4%) and HPV vaccination (69.3%) and the most common source of information was school teaching. Good knowledge of cervical cancer, HPV and HPV vaccination was demonstrated by 51.8%, 67.1% and 21.1% respectively; only 39.6% fully accepted HPV vaccination. Inadequate information and high costs were the obstacles identified to receiving vaccine and recommending it to others. Older age and higher levels of study were significantly associated with good knowledge of HPV. Good knowledge of HPV and HPV vaccination respectively were significantly associated with full acceptance of vaccination. There is need for more education on cervical cancer, HPV infection and HPV vaccination for the medical students via school teaching and other media, and inclusion of the HPV vaccine in the National Program on Immunization to improve access. (Afr J Reprod Health 2015; 19[1]: 140-148).

Full Text:



WHO. Report of the consultation on human papillomavirus vaccines. WHO Immunization, Vaccine and Biologicals, Geneva. Available at: www.who.int/vaccines-document/2005. Accessed on: 15th June 2013 2. McCusker SM, Macqueen I, Lough G, MacDonald AI, Campbell C, Graham SV. Gaps in detailed knowledge of human papillomavirus (HPV) and the HPV vaccine among medical students in Scotland. BMC Public Health 2013; 13: 264. 3. Bosch FX, de Sanjose S. Chapter 1: Human papillomavirus and cervical cancer – burden and assessment of causality. J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr 2003; 31: 3-13. 4. Makwe CC, Anorlu RI. Knowledge of and attitude toward human papillomavirus infection and vaccines among female nurses at a tertiary hospital in Nigeria. Int J Womens Health 2011; 3:313-7. 5. Songthap A, Pitisuttithum P, Kaewkungwal J, Fungladda W, Bussaratid V, Koonsaeng S. Knowledge, attitude and acceptability of a human papillomavirus vaccine among healthcare providers. Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health 2009; 40(5): 1048-56. 6. Cutts FT, Franceschi S, Goldie S, Castellsague X, de Sanjose S, Garnett G et al Human papillomavirus and HPV vaccines: a review. Bull World Health Organ 2007; 85: 719-26. 7. Holcomb B, Bailey JM, Crawford K, Ruffin MT. Adults’ knowledge and behaviours related to human papillomavirus infection. J Am Board Fam Pract 2004;17(1): 26-31. 8. WHO. World Health Organization position paper on vaccines against human papillomavirus (HPV) - the abridged version. Geneva WHO 2012. Available at: www.who.int/immunization/documents/HPV_position _paper_summary.pdf?ua=1. Accessed on: 15th June 2013. 9. Licht AS, Murphy JM, Hyland AJ, Fix BV, Hawk LW, Mahoney MC. Is use of the human papillomavirus vaccine among female college students related to human papillomavirus knowledge and risk perception? Sex Transm Infect 2010; 86(1): 74-8. 10. WHO/ICO Information center on HPV and cervical cancer (HPV Information center). Human papillomavirus and related cancers in Nigeria. Summary report 2010. Available at: www.who .int/hpvcenter. Accessed on: 15th June 2013. 11. Ugwu EO, Obi SN, Ezechukwu PC, Okafor II, Ugwu AO. Acceptability of human papillomavirus vaccine and cervical cancer screening among female health-care workers in Enugu, Southeast Nigeria. Niger J Clin Pract 2013;16(2): 249-52. 12. Pandey D, Vanya V, Bhagat S, Vs B, Shetty J. Awareness and attitude towards human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine among medical students in a premier medical school in India. PLoS ONE 2012; 7(7): e40619. 13. Marlow LA, Forster AS, Wardle J, Walker J. Mothers’ and adolescents’ beliefs about risk compensation

Adejuyigbe et al. HPV knowledge and Vaccination Acceptance

African Journal of Reproductive Health March 2015; 19 (1): 148

following HPV vaccination. J Adolesc Health 2009; 44(5): 446-51. 14. Waller J, McCaffery KJ, Forrest S, Szarewski A, Cadman L, Wardle J. Awareness of human papillomavirus among women attending a well clinic. Sex Transm Infect 2003; 79(4): 320-22. 15. Castellsague X. Natural history and epidemiology of HPV infection and cervical cancer. Gynecol Oncol 2008; 110: S4-S7. 16. Markowitz LE, Dunne EF, Saraiya M, Lawson HW, Chesson H, Unger ER. Quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine. Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR 2007; 56(RR02): 1-24. 17. Morhason-Bello IO, Adesina OA, Adedokun BO, Awolude O, Okolo A, Amakhu CO. Knowledge of the human papillomavirus vaccines and opinion of gynaecologists on its implementation in Nigeria. Afr J Reprod Health 2013; 17: 150 – 6. 18. Mehta S, Rajaram S, Goel G, Goel N. Awareness about human papillomavirus and its vaccine among medical students. Indian J Community Med 2013; 38(2): 92-4 19. Ezenwa BN, Balogun MR, Okafor IP. Mothers’ human papilloma virus knowledge and willingness to vaccinate their adolescent daughters in Lagos, Nigeria. Int J Womens Health 2013; 5: 371-7. 20. Durowade KA, Osagbemi GK, Salaudeen AG, Musa OI, Bolarinwa OA, Babatunde OA et al. Knowledge of cervical cancer and its socio-demographic determinants among women in an urban community of North-central Nigeria. Savannah J Med Res Pract 2013;2(2):46-54. 21. Igwilo AI, Igwilo UU, Hassan F, Idanwekhai M, Igbinomwaanhia O, Popoola AO. The knowledge, attitude and practice of the prevention of cancer of the cervix in Okada Community. Asian J Med Sci 2012; 4(3): 95-8. 22. Ahmed SA, Sabitu K, Idris SH, Ahmed R. Knowledge, attitude and practice of cervical cancer screening among market women in Zaria, Nigeria. Niger Med J 2013;54:316-9. 23. Oche MO ,Kaoje AU, Gana G and Ango J. T. Cancer of the cervix and cervical screening: Current knowledge, attitude and practices of female health workers in Sokoto, Nigeria. Int J Med Med Sci 2013; 5(4): 184190. 24. Ali SF, Ayub S, Manzoor NF, Azim S, Afif M, Akhtar N et al. Knowledge and awareness about cervical cancer and its prevention amongst interns and nursing staff in tertiary care hospital in Karachi, Pakistan. PLOS ONE

; 5(6):e11059 25. Oladepo O, Rickelt OL, John-Akintola Y. Knowledge and utilization of cervical cancer screening services among Nigerian students. Int Q Comm Health Educ 2009; 29(3):293-304. 26. Hoque E, Hoque M. Knowledge of and attitude towards cervical cancer among female university students in South Africa. South Afr J Epidemiol Infect 2009; 24(1):21-4. 27. Ying W, Xiong-Fei P, Zhi-Mei Z, Feng C, Chin-Jing F, Si-Qi L et al. Knowledge of Human Papilloma virus(HPV) infection, cervical cancer and HPV vaccine and its correlates among medical students in Southwest China: a multi-centre cross-sectional survey. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2010;15(14):5773-9. 28. Frehiwot G, Fekadu M, Mulunesh A, Zelalem B. Comprehensive knowledge about cervical cancer is low among women in Northwest Ethiopia. BMC cancer 2013;13: 2. 29. Nnodu O, Erinosho L, Jamda M, Olaniyi O, Adelaiye R, Lawson L, et al. Knowledge and Attitudes towards cervical cancer and human papillomavirus: a Nigerian pilot study. Afr J Reprod Health. 2010;14(1):95–108. 30. Ozyer S, Uzunlar O, Ozler S, Kaymak O, Baser E, Gungor T et al. Awareness of Turkish female adolescents and young women about HPV and their attitude towards HPV vaccination. Asian Pac J Cancer prev 2013; 14(8): 4877-81. 31. Di Giuseppe G, Abbate R, Liguori G, Albano L, Angelillo IF. Human papillomavirus and vaccination: knowledge, attitudes and behavioural intention in adolescents and young women in Italy. Br J Cancer 2008; 99(2):225-9. 32. Wamai RG, Ayissi CA, Oduwo GO, Perlman S, Welty E, Welty T et al. Awareness, knowledge and beliefs about HPV, cervical cancer and HPV vaccines among nurses in Cameroon: An exploratory study. Int J Nurs Stud 2013;50(10):1399– 406. 33. Hoque M, Hoque E, Kader SB. Evaluation of cervical cancer screening program at a rural community in South Africa. East Afr J Pub Health 2008;5(2):111-6. 34. Perlman S, Wamai RG, Bain PA, Welty T, Welty E, Ogembo JG. Knowledge and awareness of HPV vaccine and acceptability to vaccinate in Sub-Saharan Africa: systematic review. PLOS ONE 2014;9(3):e90912. 35. Gerend MA, Barley J Human papillomavirus vaccine acceptability among young adult men. Sex transm dis 2009; 36(1): 58-62


  • There are currently no refbacks.