Knowledge, perceptions and practice of cervical cancer prevention among female public secondary school teachers in Mushin local government area of Lagos State, Nigeria
Introduction: Cervical cancer is the most common gynecological cancer and a leading cause of cancer death in women in Nigeria. This study was aimed to assess the knowledge, perception, and practice of cervical cancer prevention among female public secondary school teachers in Mushin, Lagos.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study carried out among female secondary school teachers in Mushin, Lagos. The participants were selected by a two-stage random sampling method and relevant data were collected with the use a self-administered questionnaire. Data entry and analysis were done using Epi-info version 7.2 statistical software and descriptive statistics were computed for all data.
Results: The knowledge of cervical cancer and its prevention was 100.0% among the respondents. The most commonly known method of cervical cancer screening identified by the respondents was Papanicolaou smear (91.4%). More than half of the women (67.0%) have had at least one cervical cancer screening done previously. Only 2.2% of the respondents have had HPV vaccine given to their female teenage children in the past despite the acceptance rate for HPV vaccination being 76.2%.
Conclusion: This study, unlike most previous studies in other regions of Nigeria and most part of sub-Saharan Africa, has demonstrated a relatively high level of awareness about cervical cancer, its cause, risk factors and prevention. However, conversely, the absence of a national health programme means that screening and vaccination centers are not available, accessible or affordable.
Keywords: Cervical cancer, HPV vaccine, Lagos, Mushin, prevention, Papanicolaou