series event

​​HPV vaccination acceptance and perceptions related to fertility and population control in The Gambia: an anthropological analysis

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In this talk, the speakers will discuss an anthropological study conducted in The Gambia which aimed to understand HPV vaccination acceptance and perceptions. The team analysed in depth: uptake, knowledge, and perceptions of HPV vaccination, as well as trust in Ministry of Health vaccination advice. The speakers will discuss why, despite high uptake rates, knowledge of HPV vaccination was low, as well as possible reasons why the most prominent concern was that the vaccine could cause infertility or is a form of population control.

Finally, the speakers will suggest that holistic approaches to addressing HPV vaccine concerns relating to fertility that consider socio-political contexts, including colonial histories, could lead to more positive vaccine perceptions, empowered decisions and increasing vaccine uptake rates in The Gambia and elsewhere.


Rosie Wilson, Médecins Sans Frontières UK

Rosie is a medical anthropologist and anthropology advisor in the social science team at Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) UK. Prior to this, she worked as a field anthropologist with MSF France's mental health team in Monrovia, Liberia as principal investigator (PI) of an anthropological study on mental health conceptualisations and treatment pathways. She also previously worked at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) where she analysed perceptions of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination in The Gambia. She conducted a post-doctorate with the Regional Health Observatory in Marseille, which involved an anthropological study analysing access to healthcare among asylum seekers. Her PhD at LSHTM focused on access to and attitudes towards vaccination among pregnant women in London. Rosie has also worked on LSHTM's Vaccine Confidence Project in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) on vaccine hesitancy.

Lamin Leigh, LSHTM

Lamin is a project coordinator at LSHTM, working with the department of infectious diseases epidemiology and international health. Before joining LSHTM, he worked as a scientific officer at the MRCG unit at LSHTM in The Gambia working primarily on qualitative research projects on HPV acceptance, experiences of COVID-19 patients and those in quarantine, issues around misinformation and disinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic and the microneedle trial. Prior to his scientific officer role, he worked as a project officer at the research support office (RSO) MRCG unit at LSHTM. He was responsible for managing a consortium that was working on strengthening training and capacity building around infectious diseases with 17 countries in Africa and other intervention and case-control studies. He also worked as fiield coordinator for the IPV clinical trial, IPV fractional dose, pneumococcal vaccine trial and prevenar 13. He obtained his undergraduate degree at the University of The Gambia in Development Studies.


Free and open to all, online. No registration required. A recording of this session will be available after the event on this page.