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Strategies for the prevention and control of cervical cancer in rural communities: a Nigerian perspective

A.O.C Onyenwenyi
G.M. Gugu


Majority of “most-at-risk” women for cervical cancer disease who reside in rural communities of low and middle income countries (LMIC) do not have access to cervical cancer prevention programmes. This paper reviews epidemiology, recommendations, implementation strategies for prevention and control of cervical cancer, in rural communities of middle and low income countries using Nigeria as a case study.

Aim: To describe the current implementation of cervical cancer prevention programme in LMIC such as Nigeria with the view to identify gaps and document best practices for improving screening access to rural women.

Method: Literature search was focused on cervical cancer prevention studies, disease prevention programmes, policy implementation guidelines for cervical cancer screening at the rural communities. Cochrane, Medline, PsycINFO and, web sites of Globocon International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) i.e. (secondary data) were searched with key words as cervical cancer screening and prevention, HPV vaccination, rural women, Visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) / Visual inspection with Lugos Iodine (VILI), community, LMIC, and Nigeria.

Result & Conclusion: Increasing the knowledge base and competences (skills) of PHC operators and enabling the key stakeholders i.e. rural man and women to undertake screening: integrating low cost cervical cancer prevention programme into routine PHC: and fostering collaboration and community participation are proposed for scaling up cervical cancer prevention programme at the communities.

Keywords: Cervical cancer, rural women, empowerment, prevention and control,