Assessing the effectiveness of a community-based sensitization strategy in creating awareness about HPV, cervical cancer and HPV vaccine among parents in North West Cameroon

J Community Health. 2012 Oct;37(5):917-26. doi: 10.1007/s10900-012-9540-5.


In 2010, the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services (CBCHS) received a donation of HPV vaccine (Gardasil®) to immunize girls of ages 9-13 years in the North West Region of Cameroon. We evaluated the effectiveness of the CBCHS campaign program in sensitizing parents/guardians to encourage HPV vaccine uptake, identified factors that influence parents' decisions to vaccinate girls, and examined the uptake of cervical cancer screening among mothers. We conducted a cross-sectional survey in four healthcare facilities run by CBCHS, churches and other social settings. A total of 350 questionnaires were distributed and 317 were used for the analysis. There were high levels of awareness about cervical cancer, HPV and HPV vaccine. 75.5% understood HPV is sexually transmitted and 90.3% were aware of the use of vaccine as a preventive measure. Effectiveness of the vaccine (31.8%) and side effects/safety (18.4%) were the major barriers for parents to vaccinate their daughters. Bivariate analysis further revealed that the level of education (p = 0.0006), income level (p = 0.0044) and perceived risks (p = 0.0044) are additional factors influencing parents' decisions to vaccinate girls. 35.3% of women had sought a cervical cancer screening, significantly higher than the general estimated rate of screening (<10%) in other parts of Cameroon and sub-Saharan Africa. These results support the viability of a community-tailored sensitization strategy to increase awareness among the targeted audience of parents/guardians, who are critical decision-makers for vaccine delivery to children.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cameroon
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Early Detection of Cancer / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Papillomavirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Young Adult


  • Papillomavirus Vaccines