Introduction/Background Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women in the Republic of Kazakhstan. In 2013, Kazakhstan implemented a pilot project for HPV vaccination as a key prevention measure in eliminating cervical cancer. Nevertheless, the project was terminated in 2017 due to massive parental refusal, but it is scheduled to resume in 2024. Teachers’ better knowledge of the HPV vaccine has been linked to stronger recommendations to parents and students and increased coverage during school-based HPV vaccination, which is a common strategy in many countries. This study aimed to evaluate the knowledge and attitude of schoolteachers towards HPV vaccination.
Methodology This pilot cross-sectional study was conducted among Kazakhstani schoolteachers from January to March 2022 by electronic questionnaire.
Results The study involved 176 schoolteachers in Kazakhstan, and the results showed that the average knowledge score for HPV and HPV vaccination was 7.2±3.0 out of 12 possible. The findings indicated that women had significantly higher knowledge compared to men (7.5±3.2 and 4.3±3.4, respectively, P=0.02). Teachers aged 30–39 had better knowledge than those aged 60 and above (7.9±2.5 and 3.8±3.0, respectively, P=0.01). Respondents in the Central region of Kazakhstan had better awareness of HPV and vaccination compared to those in the southern regions (8.9±2.5 and 5.6±3.2, respectively, P=0.04). Knowledge differences were also found among teachers with different work experience, income, and nationality. Only 55.9% of the participants reported being aware of the HPV vaccine. Most of the schoolteachers believed that adolescent awareness should be increased, with a majority preferring health professionals (79.7%) and parents (67.3%) to be the primary informants.
Conclusion The study revealed that schoolteachers in Kazakhstan have limited knowledge about HPV and HPV vaccination. Developing educational interventions for teachers and healthcare professionals to improve knowledge and awareness about HPV and vaccination can facilitate the successful implementation of the HPV vaccination program in Kazakhstan.
Disclosures The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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