HPV Vaccination: Framing the Conversation for East African Families

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HPV vaccines are highly effective in preventing girls and boys from developing HPV-related cancers later in life. However, less than half of U.S. teens are fully vaccinated against HPV. Language and culture-specific barriers and lack of awareness may contribute to lower uptake of HPV vaccines in racial/ethnic minority communities. King County, Washington is home to 40,000 immigrants and refugees from East Africa. Focus groups and surveys with parents from King County East African communities have identified limited awareness, misperceptions, and lack of strong health care provider recommendations as barriers towards HPV vaccination. This course summarizes the most up-to-date information on HPV infection and HPV-related cancers, and vaccination recommendations. Additionally, this course offers suggestions for successful HPV vaccine communication with patients and parents from East African communities, common concerns, and suggested responses. 

This course is designed for: physicians, physician assistants, advanced registered nurse practitioners, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and medical assistants who work with people from immigrant communities, particularly East African communities. Continuing education credit is available.

By the end of this course, the learner will be able to:

  • Explain the basics of HPV related diseases and HPV vaccination recommendations in the U.S.
  • Define cultural humility and explain how it relates to the experience of immigrants and refugees in the healthcare setting.
  • Identify evidence-based strategies to increase HPV vaccination uptake that are applicable to East African immigrant and refugee communities.

This course was developed by a team from the University of Washington, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Public Health – Seattle & King County, and the Somali Health Board as part of a research project supported by cooperative agreement #U48DP005013-03S7 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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