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Changing Social Norms Around Girls’ Health Critical To Uptake Of HPV Vaccine, Preventing Cervical Cancer

Huffington Post: Beating Cervical Cancer In The Developing World — A Game-Changing Partnership To Create A ‘New Normal’ For Girls
Farah Ramzan Golant, CEO of Girl Effect

“…Too often, negative social norms about what girls should and shouldn’t do, as well as myths and misconceptions, act as barriers preventing adolescent girls from accessing health services like HPV vaccines, even when they are available. … [I]n order to make real and lasting change, supply and demand [for the vaccine] need to be integrated in a non-siloed, holistic approach. … At Girl Effect we do this by reframing what it means to be a girl in her community … helping [girls] change their own perception of themselves and how they’re viewed by the people around them. … While our intention is to increase uptake of the HPV vaccine, longer term the partnership [with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance] has a much bigger ambition. We want to leverage the power of culture brands to create greater trust in health systems, leading to more girls using integrated health services more often throughout their lives … By opening the minds, hearts, and actions of girls and their communities we can unlock demand, and help to deliver an experience that will make health interventions more efficient, focused, and incisive…” (10/11).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.