Saturday, February 20, 2016

Uptake of Cervical Cancer Screening and Associated Factors among Women in Rural Uganda: A Cross Sectional Study

In developing countries, inadequate access to effective screening for cervical cancer often contributes to the high morbidity and mortality caused by the disease. The largest burden of this falls mostly on underserved populations in rural areas, where health care access is characterized by transport challenges, ill equipped health facilities, and lack of information access. This study assessed uptake of cervical cancer screening and associated factors among women in rural Uganda.

This descriptive cross sectional study was carried out in Bugiri and Mayuge districts in eastern Uganda and utilised quantitative data collection methods. Data were collected using a semi-structured questionnaire on cervical cancer screening among females aged between 25 and 49 years who had spent six or more months in the area. Data were entered in Epidata 3.02 and analysed in STATA 12.0 statistical software. Univariate, bivariate and multivariate analyses were performed.

Of the 900 women, only 43 (4.8%) had ever been screened for cervical cancer. Among respondents who were screened, 21 (48.8%) did so because they had been requested by a health worker, 17 (39.5%) had certain signs and symptoms they associated with cervical cancer while 16 (37.2%) did it voluntarily to know their status. Barriers to cervical cancer screening were negative individual perceptions 553 (64.5%) and health facility related challenges 142 (16.6%). Other respondents said they were not aware of the screening service 416 (48.5%). The independent predictors of cervical cancer screening were: being recommended by a health worker [AOR = 87.85, p<0.001], knowing where screening services were offered [AOR = 6.24, p = 0.004], and knowing someone who had ever been screened [AOR = 9.48, p = 0.001].

The prevalence of cervical cancer screening is very low in rural Uganda. Interventions to increase uptake of cervical cancer screening should be implemented so as to improve access to the service in rural areas.

Below:  Suggested measures for increasing uptake of cervical cancer screening services

Full article at:

Rawlance Ndejjo, Trasias Mukama, David Musoke
Department of Disease Control and Environmental Health, School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda

Angele Musabyimana
Department of Community Health, School of Public Health, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda

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