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Assessing the uptake of cervical cancer screening among women aged 25-65 years in Kumbo West Health District, Cameroon

Journal article
Authors Donatus Layu
Kifu Nina Fanka
Dohbit Julius Sama
Claude Ngwayu Nkfusai
Bede Fala
Joyce Shirinde
Samuel Nambile Cumber
Published in Pan African Medical Journal
Volume 33
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Language en
Keywords Uptake, cervical cancer, screening, health district
Subject categories Cancer and Oncology, Other Medical Sciences, Basic Medicine, Health Sciences


Introduction: cervical cancer remains one of the leading health hazards affecting a majority women across the globe. The situation is even more, preoccupying particularly in areas where screening programmes and services are absent. The World Health Organization (WHO) says "cervical cancer is the fourth most frequent cancer in women, with an estimated 570,000 new cases diagnosed in 2018 which represents 6.6% of all female cancers. Approximately 90% of deaths from cervical cancer occurred in low- and middle-income countries". Despite the high mortality rate from cervical cancer globally, the trend could be reduced through a comprehensive approach that includes prevention, early diagnosis, effective screening and treatment programmes. In Cameroon, the prevalence of cervical cancer is 24% among women of reproductive age. An estimated 1,993 new cases are recorded annually in Cameroon with 1676 deaths. Despite this precarious situation, the uptake in cervical cancer screening service remains poor and stands at 19.6% in Cameroon. It is against this background that this paper evaluates the uptake of cervical cancer among women aged 25-65 years in the Kumbo West Health District (KWHD). Specifically, this study assesses the knowledge of women in this health district on cervical cancer and determines factors that affect the uptake of cervical cancer screening services. Methods: this study is a cross-sectional study in the KWHD involving 253 consented women between the ages 25 to 65 years. The principal research instrument was a three-part questionnaire designed to collect information on socio-demographic profile, cervical cancer knowledge and associated factors for uptake in cervical cancer screening. Data was entered in MS Excel and analysed using Excel. Results were presented in tables and figures. Results: our study reveals that a majority of the participants (74.70%) had heard of cervical cancer and 43.48% had undergone cervical cancer screening. Again, 24.51% and 29.25% of the participants respectively could not identify any risk factor and symptom of cervical cancer. Conclusion: the study revealed that the uptake of cervical cancer screening in KWHD is higher than the national uptake. The level of awareness on the risk factors and symptoms of cervical cancer is low, posing a need to put more emphasis on educating and creating awareness of cervical cancer among communities on risk factors, prevention measures and signs and symptoms in all the health areas of the KWHD.

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