Knowledge of Cervical Cancer among Women of Reproductive Age in Ibadan North LGA, Oyo State, Nigeria
Keywords:Nigeria, women of reproductive age, cervical cancer screening, prevention, assessment, Cervical cancer
Background: Nigeria has one of the highest rates of cervical cancer morbidity and mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa. Both the human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV) and cervical screening are effective prevention strategies against both HPV infection and cervical cancer. Lack of awareness, limited knowledge, limited decision-making agency, lack of spousal support and stigma are barriers to uptake of these preventive measures. Cervical cancer is a deadly disease claiming the lives of many women in
developing countries due to late presentation which might be influenced by a lack of knowledge of the disease and its prevention.
Method: This descriptive study examined the knowledge assessment of cervical cancer among women of reproductive age (15-49), about cervical cancer, its prevention, and their utilization of Pap smear screening; using a convenience sample of 426 women in Ibadan North Local Government Area of Oyo State, Nigeria. Women voluntarily completed a structured questionnaire.
Result: Results showed that women who participated in the study were aware of cervical cancer (77%; n=328) but many (62.9%; n= 268) were unaware of Pap smears as the screening tests for cervical cancer. Although 41.3% (n=176) were knowledgeable about cervical cancer, risk factors and prevention, only 9.4% (n=40) had Pap smear tests done.
Conclusion: Health care professionals, need to intensify efforts to increase awareness about cervical cancer screening, and encourage women through the different clinics to use these services. The benefits of screening and early diagnosis of cervical cancer should be emphasized to enhance the utilization of cervical cancer screening services.
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