Ms Heleen Vermandere

Post-doctoral researcher


As a global health researcher with over 10 years of international experience, Heleen is proficient in collecting qualitative and quantitative data in challenging contexts. She combines health sciences, epidemiology and sociology to study health behaviour and to evaluate the impact of health programmes. She has primarily worked on sexual and reproductive health in sub-Saharan Africa, focusing on family planning and infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and cervical cancer. For her doctoral thesis she evaluated the acceptability and uptake of the HPV vaccine in Kenya. Given her strong interest in gender, she has also conducted studies on female genital mutilation and violence against women in Egypt. She coordinates the work of various students and manages the day-to-day operations of a Horizon2020 project on cervical cancer screening. 

Publications of Heleen

2023 Label-free electrochemical immunosensor for cervical cancer screening

Sallam Al-Madhagi, Patricia Khashayar, Bo Verberckmoes, Evelien Peeters, Elien De Paepe, Heleen Vermandere, Mieke Adriaens, Jan Vanfleteren, Olivier Degomme, Elizaveta Padalko

2023 P16/KI67 levels to revolutionize cellular dysplasia detection in cervical cancer

Patricia Khashayar, Sallam Al-Madhagi, Bo Verberckmoes, Evelien Peeters, Elien De Paepe, Heleen Vermandere, Marleen Praet, Olivier Degomme, Elizaveta Padalko, Mieke Adriaens, Jan Vanfleteren

2023 Comparison between the Roche Cobas 4800 human papillomavirus (HPV), Abbott RealTime high-risk HPV, Seegene Anyplex II HPV28, and novel Seegene Allplex II HPV28 assays for high-risk HPV detection and genotyping in mocked self-samples

Margo Bell, Bo Verberckmoes, Janne Devolder, Heleen Vermandere, Olivier Degomme, Yasmin Medeiros Guimarães, Luani Rezende Godoy, Elena Ambrosino, Piet Cools, Elizaveta Padalko

2022 Barriers and facilitators to cervical cancer screening among under- and neverscreened women in Belgium : a qualitative study on community and healthcare providers’ perspective

Bo Verberckmoes, Elien De Paepe, Janne De Vestele, Heleen Vermandere, Ines Keygnaert, Olivier Degomme

2022 Barriers and facilitators to cervical cancer screening among under-screened women in Cuenca, Ecuador : the perspectives of women and health professionals

Bernardo Vega Crespo, Vivian Alejandra Neira, Jose Ortiz Segarra, Andres Andrade, Gabriela Guerra, Stalin Ortiz, Antonieta Flores, Lorena Mora, Veronique Verhoeven, Ana Gama, Sonia Dias, Bo Verberckmoes, Heleen Vermandere, Kristien Michielsen, Olivier Degomme

2021 Understanding cervical cancer screening barriers among migrant women : a qualitative study with healthcare and community workers in Portugal

Patrícia Marques, Ana Gama, Mário Santos, Bruno Heleno, Heleen Vermandere, Sónia Dias

2020 Universal cervical cancer control through a right to health lens : refocusing national policy and programmes on underserved women

Katrina Perehudoff, Heleen Vermandere, Alex Williams, Sergio Bautista-Arredondo, Elien De Paepe, Sonia Dias, Ana Gama, Ines Keygnaert, Adhemar Longatto-Filho, Jose Ortiz, Elizaveta Padalko, Rui Manuel Reis, Nathalie Vanderheijden, Bernardo Vega, Bo Verberckmoes, Olivier Degomme

2018 Quality of care in family planning services in rural Mozambique with a focus on long acting reversible contraceptives : a cross-sectional survey

Anna Galle, Heleen Vermandere, Sally Griffin, Malica de Melo, Lino Machaieie, Dirk Van Braeckel, Olivier Degomme

2018 Knowledge and practices of general practitioners at district hospitals towards cervical cancer prevention in Burundi, 2015 : a cross-sectional study

Zacharie Ndizeye, Davy Vanden Broeck, Heleen Vermandere, Johannes Bogers, Jean-Pierre Van Geertruyden

2018 Uptake of three doses of HPV vaccine by primary school girls in Eldoret, Kenya : a prospective cohort study in a malaria endemic setting

Hillary Mabeya, Sonia Menon, Steven Weyers, Violet Naanyu, Emily Waleghwa Mwaliko, Elijah Kirop, Omenge Orango, Heleen Vermandere, Davy Vanden Broeck

2017 Improving contraceptives supply management by addressing the human factor

Heleen Vermandere, Anna Galle, S Grifin, M de Melo, L Machaieie, Dirk Van Braeckel, Olivier Degomme

2017 The impact of facility audits, evaluation reports and incentives on motivation and supply management among family planning service providers : an interventional study in two districts in Maputo Province, Mozambique

Heleen Vermandere, Anna Galle, Sally Griffin, Málica de Melo, Lino Machaieie, Dirk Van Braeckel, Olivier Degomme

2017 Factors associated with HIV testing among men who have sex with men in Western Kenya : a cross-sectional study

Sylvia Shangani, Violet Naanyu, Ann Mwangi, Heleen Vermandere, Ethan Mereish, Andrew Obala, Davy Vanden Broeck, John Sidle, Don Operario

2016 Uptake of the human papillomavirus vaccine in Kenya : testing the health belief model through pathway modeling on cohort data

Heleen Vermandere, Marie-Anne van Stam, Violet Naanyu, Kristien Michielsen, Olivier Degomme, Frans Oort

2016 Introduction of HPV vaccination in Kenya

Heleen Vermandere

2016 Introduction of HPV vaccination in Kenya

Heleen Vermandere

2015 Implementation of an HPV vaccination program in Eldoret, Kenya: results from a qualitative assessment by key stakeholders

Heleen Vermandere, Violet Naanyu, Olivier Degomme, Kristien Michielsen

2014 Determinants of acceptance and subsequent uptake of the HPV vaccine in a cohort in Eldoret, Kenya

Heleen Vermandere, Violet Naanyu, Hillary Mabeya, Davy Vanden Broeck, Kristien Michielsen, Olivier Degomme

Projects of Heleen

Cervical cancer and HPV

A Community-based HPV screening Implementation in Low-Income countries - CHILI

Cervical cancer is the 4th most common cancer in women worldwide, with up to 85% of the burden in resource restricted countries. Early detection of precancer has shown to be successful in reducing cancer incidence and mortality, however, a global implementation of this approach is hampered by culture and resource differences between countries.

Project ongoing
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Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) Cervical cancer and HPV

ELEVATE: EarLy dEtection of cerVical cAncer in hard-to-reach populations of women through portable and point-of-care HPV TEsting

The ELEVATE consortium wants to empower women to screen for their cervical cancer risk in any setting while guaranteeing rapid and easy-to-understand results

Project ongoing
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Health system research Family planning and contraception

Enhancing motivation of family planning service providers as a lever to avoid stock-outs and increase quality of service

Good progress is being made towards ensuring universal access to family planning (FP) services, mainly through strengthening the supply chains, tackling logistic and financial barriers, training of staff, broadening the choice of methods, and providing information and advocacy. However, sound supply-, counseling- and service provision systems, supported by good manuals and Standard Operating Procedures alone can’t guarantee that stock-outs are completely avoided and that quality of service is sufficient to ensure high user satisfaction of both the services provided and the methods used.

Project closed
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Cervical cancer and HPV

Cervical cancer prevention in Kenya: Introduction of the HPV vaccines

In Kenya, HPV vaccination is not part of the national immunization scheme. The 2 types of HPV-vaccines are however approved and allowed to use in the country. Dr Hillary Mabeya, National Advisor on Adolescent Vaccination at the Ministry of Health (Kenya), received a grant of 9000 HPV vaccines from the GARDASIL Access Program in order to pilot HPV vaccination. The pilot program started in May 2012 and ended in March 2013. Primary school girls (standard 4 to 9, i.e. approximately 9 to 14 years of age) enrolled in 10 randomly selected public schools were the first target group, but in a second phase the program was opened for young girls from the whole community; 2500 girls of the 3000 girls who received the first dose were fully vaccinated at the end of the program. While vaccination occurred at Moi University Hospital, promotion of the HPV-vaccine was school based: health providers informed teachers who on their turn were asked to inform the girls and parents about the upcoming HPV vaccination opportunity.

Project closed
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