Cervical cancer is the most common cancer among women in Botswana and elsewhere in Sub-Saharan Africa. We sought to examine whether HPV vaccine is acceptable among parents in Botswana, which recently licensed the vaccine to prevent cervical cancer.
METHODS AND FINDINGS
We conducted a cross-sectional survey in 2009, around the time the vaccine was first licensed, with adults recruited in general medicine and HIV clinics in Gaborone, the capital of Botswana. Although only 9% (32/376) of respondents had heard of HPV vaccine prior to the survey, 88% (329/376) said they definitely will have their adolescent daughters receive HPV vaccine. Most respondents would get the vaccine for their daughters at a public or community clinic (42%) or a gynecology or obstetrician's office (39%), and 74% would get it for a daughter if it were available at her school. Respondents were more likely to say that they definitely will get HPV vaccine for their daughters if they had less education (OR = 0.20, 95% CI = 0.07-0.58) or lived more than 30 kilometers from the capital, Gaborone (OR = 2.29, 95% CI = 1.06-4.93). Other correlates of acceptability were expecting to be involved in the decision to get HPV vaccine, thinking the vaccine would be hard to obtain, and perceiving greater severity of HPV-related diseases.
HPV vaccination of adolescent girls would be highly acceptable if the vaccine became widely available to the daughters of healthcare seeking parents in Gaborone, Botswana. Potential HPV vaccination campaigns should provide more information about HPV and the vaccine as well as work to minimize barriers.