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Fundatia Renasterea announces new findings on HPV vaccination

The key findings from the survey conducted during the #HotărăștePentruViitor campaign in 17 communities across Constanța, Bacau, Iași, and Vrancea were officially presented during the roundtable event titled "Combaterea cancerului de col uterin – Accelerarea progresului și eliminarea acestuia ca problemă de sănătate publică", hosted on September 19, 2023, by the US Embassy in Bucharest. Both the event and the survey were coordinated by Fundatia Renasterea, that is also the ReThinkHPVaccination Project Coordinator.

During the event, the objectives of ReThinkHPVaccination Project were presented by Mrs Mihaela Geoana, President of Fundatia Renasterea, laying the bricks for future collaborations and synergies.

In attendance were representatives from major institutions and organizations contributing to the elimination strategy of HPV-induced cancers in Romania, including: Ministry of Health, National Public Health Institute, Physicians College in Romania, National Society of Family Medicine, European Cancer Organization, Romanian Association for Pediatric Education in Family Medicine, National School of Public Health, College of Pharmacists, Romanian Society of Human Papillomavirus (SR-HPV), Order of General Medical Assistants, Midwives and Medical Assistants from Romania. In brief, all the main national stakeholders we identified for the ReThinkHPVaccination project were present at the event.

The event is part of another on-going communication and education project of Renasterea and the insights from the survey will serve in building the training materials in WP4 - Designing HPV vaccination communication trainings, as well as in identifying the vaccination leaders in each county of Romania.

Some of the main results are:

  • Awareness: There was a reasonably high level of awareness on HPV infection and vaccination at around 70%. However, knowledge on HPV transmission and the repercussions was below par, with only 1 in 10 parents being well-informed.
  • Impact of the Information Sessions: An impressive 93% of the participating parents found the informational sessions beneficial. A significant 80% stated their understanding of HPV infection and the role of the vaccine improved due to these sessions by Renasterea. Additionally, 75% felt the intervention aided in their decision-making regarding vaccination, with 56% intending to get their children vaccinated against HPV.
  • Knowledge Transfer: The primary motivation for parents' participation was to gain knowledge from health specialists (about 4 out of 5 parents), actively seek information by posing questions (about 1 in 5 parents), and exchanging opinions with peers (about 1 in 3 parents). This underscores the effectiveness of group-format interventions to meet parental information needs.
  • Challenges and Inequities: There were certain socio-economic factors identified that might lead to disparities in the adoption of HPV vaccination, highlighting areas that need targeted interventions.

This event stressed the need for a collective and informed approach, pushing for the upcoming modern compensation model for the HPV vaccine from 1st December 2023 (more details will follow). It's a monumental step toward the reduction and eventual eradication of cancers caused by HPV in Romania.

Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.
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