Knowledge of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and its Vaccine Among Female Undergraduates in Awka, South Eastern Nigeria
International Journal of Medicine and Public Health
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a known and well documented cause of cervical cancer. Primary prevention of HPV infection using vaccine is possible and some approved vaccines are already in use. Objective: The aim of this research was to ascertain the knowledge of HPV infection and HPV vaccines, among female students of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. Method: A cross sectional study of three hundred and sixty seven (367) female students selected randomly across 6 faculties of Nnamdi Azikiwe
... Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka using semi structured questionnaires. Information was obtained on their demographic characteristics, knowledge of HPV infection, mode of transmission, associated diseases and knowledge of HPV vaccine. Data was coded and analyzed using SPSS version 21. Results were presented as frequency tables. Association between variable was tested using the Chi square test and significant level was set at p<0.05. Results: One hundred and ten respondents (30.0%) had knowledge of HPV infection, significantly more among students of biosciences. Of these, 64.5% (71/110) identified it as a sexually transmitted infection and associated it with cervical cancer. Only 15.8% (58/367) had knowledge of Human Papilloma Virus vaccine. Respondents from the faculty of Biosciences had significantly superior knowledge and the most common sources of information were the internet and school lectures. Conclusion: This study has shown a poor knowledge of HPV and its vaccine among these undergraduates and so underscoring the need for scaling up awareness campaigns in our society. We recommend the introduction of important public health issues like cervical cancer in the general study syllabus for undergraduates.