Utilization of cervical cancer screening services among women attending Meru teaching and referral hospital
Kandie, Geredine Jemuge
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Cervical cancer is ranked second after breast cancer but is still a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in women especially in sub-Saharan Africa. In Kenya, cervical cancer is ranked as the most frequent cancer among women with 4,802 new cases being diagnosed annually and approximately 2,451 lives lost to it. Cervical cancer is known to be a preventable disease mainly through behavior change, vaccination, early detention and treatment of pre-cancerous lesions. Majority of women especially in Africa have never been screened and some present in advanced stage or die due to this disease. Very basic screening methods like VIA VILL exist in most health facilities in Kenya but the utilization is reported be worryingly low. Cervical cancer screening coverage in Kenya of all women of 18 to 69 years of age is only 3.2% compared to national target of 70%. Specific objectives of the were to : assess how level of knowledge, health service-related factors, perception and participants' views on mobile health influence utilization of cervical cancer screening among women attending MeTRH.A descriptive cross-section study was conducted among 352 women selected by purposive sampling method. Data was collected using pre-tested structured questionnaires between January 2018 and March 2018. it was cleaned and entered into the computer and analyzed using IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows version 23. Descriptive correlation and multivariate recreations was done to determine relationships among variable. From the results. Majority of the respondents were between 20 to 29 (50.9%). Almost half of the respondents had no knowledge of cervical cancer. 86.9% did not know the cause of cervical cancer while 38% of the respondents had never hard of cervical cancer screening. Lack of knowledge significantly explained non-utilization of cervical cancer screening services (CI:95% :p <0.001). The study also revealed that 64.4% of respondents did not know the availability of health facility they visited. Information from the health provider was found as a key determinant of respondents' utilization of screening ( CI:95%,OR 13.21,p<0.001.). Women perceived screening as embarrassing and painful while others expressed fear of results ,represented by 36.1%, 42% and 48% of women respectively. A significant negative relationship between perceived embarrassment during screening (CI:95%,r=-0.109,p=0.041). Most the respondents (90%) had mobile phones which could be used to disseminated health information of cervical screening. In conclusion public health should be strengthened to increase knowledge and change perception on cervical screening. Leveraging on mHealth to increase knowledge and integration into the existing health information system is recommended to strengthen health service delivery.