Women's Attitude Towards Cervical Cancer Screening in North Eastern Nigeria
Cancer of the cervix is the leading cancer in women in sub Saharan Africa. The aim of this study is to document the views of respondents on how to increase the uptake of cervical cancer screening. This was a cross sectional study of women attending the outpatient clinics of obstetrics and gynaecology in two tertiary institutions in Northeastern Nigeria carried out between June and August 2010. Information obtained from the respondents included socio-demographic characteristics, knowledge of cervical cancer, knowledge of cervical cancer screening services and utilization of such services, sources of information on cervical cancer, and the opinion of respondents on how to increase uptake of cervical cancer screening. There were two hundred and thirty five respondents aged 16-61 years with a mean of 29.69+7.58 years. Majority, 183 (77.9%) were currently or previously married. The mean parity was 1.79 + 1.81. Most, 144(61.3%) had tertiary education. Are assuring number 147(62.6%) knew about cervical cancer, 104(44.3%) knew about screening for cervical cancer but only a disappointing 27(11.5%) ever had a Pap smear. Hospital, 66 (28.1%) was the single most important source of information. When compared with cervical cancer, the knowledge of HIV, 217(92.3%) and how it is acquired, 213(90.6%) were higher compared to knowledge and risk factors for cervical cancer of 147(62.6%) and 87(37%) respectively. Most, 167 (71.1%) respondents believed that same strategy used for creating awareness about HIV could be used to increase both awareness and utilization of cervical cancer screening services. Adoption of social marketing strategy may lead to improvement in the use of cervical cancer screening services, consequently leading to a reduction in the burden of cervical cancer.