Knowledge and Awareness of Human Papillomavirus (HPV), Cervical Cancer and HPV Vaccine among Women in Two Distinct Nepali Communities

  • Johnson, Derek Christopher (Department of Epidemiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham) ;
  • Bhatta, Madhav Prasad (Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Kent State University) ;
  • Gurung, Santosh (World Health Organization, Program for Immunization Preventable Diseases) ;
  • Aryal, Shilu (Family Health Division, Department of Health Services Ministry of Health and Population) ;
  • Lhaki, Pema (Nepal Fertility Care Center) ;
  • Shrestha, Sadeep (Department of Epidemiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham)
  • Published : 2014.10.23


Background: This study assessed human papillomavirus (HPV), cervical cancer, and HPV vaccine knowledge and awareness among women in two sub-populations in Nepal - Khokana, a traditional Newari village in the Lalitpur District about eight kilometers south of Kathmandu, and Sanphebagar, a village development committee within Achham District in rural Far-Western Nepal. Methods: Study participants were recruited during health camps conducted by Nepal Fertility Care Center, a Nepali non-governmental organization. Experienced staff administered a Nepali language survey instrument that included questions on socio-demographics, reproductive health and knowledge on HPV, cervical cancer, and the HPV vaccine. Results: Of the 749 participants, 387 (51.7%) were from Khokana and 362 (48.3%) were from Sanphebagar. Overall, 53.3% (n=372) of women were aware of cervical cancer with a significant difference between Khokana and Sanphebagar (63.3% vs 43.0%; p=0.001). Overall, 15.4% (n=107) of women had heard of HPV and 32% (n=34) of these women reported having heard of the HPV vaccine. If freely available, 77.5% of the women reported willingness to have their children vaccinated against HPV. Factors associated with cervical cancer awareness included knowledge of HPV (Khokana: Odds Ratio (OR)=24.5; (95% Confidence Interval (CI): 3.1-190.2, Sanphebagar: OR=14.8; 95% CI: 3.7-58.4)) and sexually transmitted infections (Khokana: OR=6.18; 95% CI: 3.1-12.4; Sanphebagar: OR=17.0; 95% CI: 7.3-39.7) among other risk factors. Conclusions: Knowledge and awareness of HPV, cervical cancer, and the HPV vaccine remains low among women in Khokana and Sanphebagar. Acceptance of a freely available HPV vaccine for children was high, indicating potentially high uptake rates in these communities.


HPV;HPV vaccine;cervical cancer;Nepal;rural communities


Supported by : National Institutes of Health Cancer Prevention and Control Training


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