Targeting women with free cervical cancer screening: challenges and lessons learnt from Osun state, southwest Nigeria

  • Ebenezer Gbenga Adepoju
  • Temitope Ilori
  • Samuel Anu Olowookere
  • Ajibola Idowu


Introduction: the study was conducted to determine the challenges and suggest solutions to conducting free cervical cancer screening among Nigerian women. Methods: awareness was created among women groups and mass media in Osun State for women to undergo free cervical cancer screening programme. Consenting women had their sociodemographic characteristics, awareness and uptake of HPV vaccine documented and papanicolaou smear procedure done with adequate referral for treatment given where necessary. Results: a total of 287 women had cervical cancer screening. Mean (SD) age was 51.6 (14.3) years. Most participants were urban based (87.1%), married (63.1%), had secondary education (39%) and were traders (79.1%). None of the women were aware of the preventive HPV vaccine or had been vaccinated against HPV. About 6% were pre-invasive while 0.7% had invasive cervical cancer. The highest proportions of respondents affected were young, married and had lower education. Challenges identified included poor attendance, low risk perception and logistic issues. Conclusion: most participants were urban based. There is need to decentralize cancer of cervix screening through mobile clinics and establishment of screening centres in the rural areas. Neighbour to neighbour sensitization is essential. Also, HPV vaccine should be available and affordable to all girls before sexual maturity.

The Pan African Medical Journal 2016;24

Author Biographies

Ebenezer Gbenga Adepoju
Department of Preventive Medicine, State Specialist Hospital, Osogbo, Osun state, Nigeria
Temitope Ilori
Department of Preventive Medicine and Primary Care, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo state, Nigeria
Samuel Anu Olowookere
Department of Community Health, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun state, Nigeria
Ajibola Idowu
Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, Bowen University Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Nigeria

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1937-8688