Knowledge and practice of cervical cancer screening among female medical students of the University of Benin, Benin City Nigeria
AbstractIntroduction: Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer affecting women worldwide. It is a preventable disease but still remains a leading cause of cancer deaths in developing countries like Nigeria despite the availability of preventive and curative protocols. Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the knowledge and practice of cervical cancer screening among female medical students. Methodology: This descriptive cross sectional study was carried out among female medical students at the University of Benin. The respondents were selected using the stratified sampling technique. The tool for data collection was a structured, self administered questionnaire. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 16 statistical software. Result: A total of 230 respondents participated in the study. The mean age of respondents was 20 ± 1.4 years. A greater proportion (63.0%) had good knowledge of cervical cancer. Their major source of information was from medical personnel. Sixty two percent were aware of the risk factors associated with cervical cancer. However, majority of the respondent had poor practice of the screening programmes. Although, 70.0% have heard of Pap smear only 28.5% knew of its use while only 9.0% had done a Pap smear in the past. Conclusion: This study showed that the practice of cervical cancer screening among female medical students was poor. There is a need for intensive enlightenment programme to educate the medical students on the importance of screening in the prevention of cervical cancers, so that they can be agents of change to the larger community.
Keywords: Cervical Cancer, Screening, Female Medical Students, University of Benin