Original Research

Performance of the school-based human papillomavirus vaccine uptake in Tshwane, South Africa

Tladi D. Ledibane, Neo R. Ledibane, Moliehi Matlala
Southern African Journal of Infectious Diseases | Vol 38, No 1 | a492 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajid.v38i1.492 | © 2023 Tladi D. Ledibane, Neo R. Ledibane, Moliehi Matlala | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 October 2022 | Published: 31 January 2023

About the author(s)

Tladi D. Ledibane, Department of Public Health Medicine, School of Medicine, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Pretoria, South Africa
Neo R. Ledibane, School of Health Systems and Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Moliehi Matlala, Department of Public Health Pharmacy Management, School of Pharmacy, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Pretoria, South Africa


Background: Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is an effective preventive measure against HPV infection and HPV-associated cervical cancer. South Africa introduced its HPV vaccination programme in 2014.

Objectives: The authors assessed the uptake of HPV vaccine in the school-based HPV vaccination programme in Tshwane Health District for the year 2019 and compared the vaccine uptake (VU) between fee-paying and no-fee public schools.

Method: The study method was cross-sectional, using routine electronic health records of the HPV vaccination programme. The study population included all Grade 4 school-girls between the ages of 9 and 14 years who attended public schools in 2019 in the Tshwane Health District.

Results: The pooled VU for the Tshwane Health District was 72.0%, considerably lower than the target of 80.0%. The number of girls who received dose one and dose two in 2019 was 16 122 (73.0%) and 15 734 (71.0%), respectively, excluding the catch-up figures. In addition, 82.2% of fee-paying schools achieved VU of above 80% versus 65.5% of no-fee schools (p = 0.022).

Conclusion: The lower than target levels of VU for HPV among girls in Tshwane Health District, particularly in those attending no-fee schools, is concerning. Interventions should be adopted to optimise programme performance so as to achieve the target VU of 80%.

Contribution: This study showed the need to strengthen sensitisation and social mobilisation efforts, particularly among no-fee schools to improve the VU.


human papillomavirus vaccine; vaccine uptake; school-based vaccination programme; Tshwane; South Africa


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