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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-5

Communication preferences for human papillomavirus and other health information in Gwagwalada, Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria

1 Department of Community Medicine, University of Abuja, Abuja, Nigeria
2 Department of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, University of Abuja, Abuja, Nigeria
3 Zankli Medical Centre, Abuja, Nigeria
4 Department of Psychology, Nassarawa State University, Keffi, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Mustapha Abubakar Jamda
Department of Community Medicine, University of Abuja, PMB 117, Abuja
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/NJGP.NJGP_16_17

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Introduction: Primary prevention of infection-associated cancers such as cervical cancer includes deployment and acceptance of vaccines, which is centered on educating people, intervention program designs, and community inputs. Such health promotion programs in Africa have suffered setbacks through inadequate attention to the peculiarities of context. It is, therefore, important to ascertain available health communication resources and preferences. Objective: The objective of this study is to ascertain the knowledge of human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer, sources and communication preferences of health communication among the respondents. Methods: Four hundred 15–45-year-old patients, were selected by random sampling technique. A questionnaire was used to document their biodata, knowledge of HPV and cervical cancer, and health communication resources and preferences. Focus group discussions (FGD) was used to supplement the quantitative data. Results: The knowledge of HPV and cervical cancer was poor compared to 60% for HIV/AIDs. HPV was not considered sexually transmitted by the majority of respondents. The FGD revealed misconceptions that included HPV infection as “punishment from God,” “spiritual attacks from enemies,” “possibility of transmission through inheritance, poor hygiene, or mosquito bite.” The preferred channel of health communication about HPV and cervical cancer was through religious associations, 30%; electronic media, 28.5%; traditional rulers, 12.2% and social clubs/ethnic associations, 11.5%. The respondents recommended the use of communal methods such as town crier, ethnic associations, and traditional leaders for health communication. Conclusion: Respondents had poor knowledge of HPV and cervical cancer. Context tailored intervention programs, using their preferred means of health communication could improve knowledge and practice toward these conditions.

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