Socio-economic and demographic determinants of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine awareness among urban women aged 18-45 years in Embakasi, Nairobi, Kenya

  • MF Kairithia
  • BNA Okello
  • WA Kamau


Background: Cancer of cervix is the third leading gynaecological malignancy in the world and the leading cause of deaths in sub-Saharan Africa. Cancer of cervix can completely be treated with early diagnosis. Approaches to reduce related morbidity and mortality include screening for cervical cancer and administration of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine to HPV non-infected females to trigger host resistance. The uptake of HPV vaccine globally has been reported to be less than 1%.

Objectives: To assess the level and identify determinants of awareness of HPV vaccines among the participants

Design: Cross sectional descriptive study.

Setting: Umoja Estate in Embakasi, Nairobi County, Kenya.

Subjects: Three hundred and eighty four (384) eligible respondents were randomly recruited into the study.

Results: Most of the respondents (72%) were aged between 18 and 31 years and 42% had attained tertiary education. Fivety six point eight percent were married and 33.1% were unemployed. More than one third (38%) had monthly income of less than 20,000 Ksh (US $ 220). Majority (60.2%) had no medical insurance cover. Only 2.3% had had HPV vaccine despite a higher awareness level of 25.8%. There was strong association between awareness about HPV vaccine and age (P=0.000); having children (p= 0.010); level of education (p=0.000); marital status (p= 0.054); having insurance (p=0.000); occupation (p=0.000) and monthly income (p=0.000).

Conclusion: There was low awareness of HPV among the study population. No sensitisation programme existed in the area of study.


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eISSN: 0012-835X