Cervical Cancer and Human Papilloma Virus Knowledge and Acceptance of Vaccination among Medical Students in Southwest Nigeria
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.
Keywords: Human papillomavirus, medical students, knowledge, Nigeria
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