Utilization of Cervical Cancer Screening Services among Women Aged 30-49 Years in Kitui County, Kenya
Mbaluka, Jane Hannah Mumbi
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Cancer Cervix refers to malignant cell growth in the lower part of the uterus that opens into the vagina. Cervical cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers in developed countries and the third most common cancer among women worldwide, with an estimated 569,847 new cases and 311,365 deaths recorded in 2018. Cervical cancer is primarily associated with young women. Women aged 50 years and below accounts for 62%, of all cervical cancers. More than a million women in the world are living with cervical and most of them have no access to screening, treatment and palliative care, resulting in late treatment. Cervical cancer usually develops slowly, which means that most cases can be identified and managed when screening is performed regularly. The study sought to investigate the determinants of utilization of cervical cancers screening services among women aged 30-49 years in Kitui West Sub-County. The study population was women aged 30-49 years of age. A stratified random sampling technique was used to obtain 270 respondents from the study population (2542). Data was collected using self-administered semi-structured questionnaires issued to women aged 30-49 years in Kitui west sub-County. The study adopted a cross-sectional descriptive study design. The study used quantitative research methods to obtain data from selected respondents. Data from the respondents was analyzed using statistical package of social sciences (SPSS) in conjunction with Microsoft excel. The study used chi-square test calculated at 95% interval and a margin of 0.05% error to determine the relationship between dependent and independent study variables. The results found out that Majority of the participants 145 (53.7%) were aware of the cancer screening. There was a no significant relationship (p =0.054) between the awareness and cervical cancer screening services among women aged 30-49 years. The study established that 35% of the participants had been screened for cervical cancer while 65% had not been screened at all. The study established that, majority 152 (56.3) of the respondents had low knowledge on cervical cancer and there was a relationship between knowledge on signs (p=0.001) and prevention of cervical cancer (p=0.002) and utilization of cervical cancer screening services. Regarding perception there was a relationship between whether one perceived screening to be necessary (p=0.011), painful (0.0221) and screening was a procedure or commercial sex workers (p=0.026) and utilization of cervical cancer screening services among women aged 30-49 year. Based on the findings of this study, it was concluded that, although majority of women are aware of the cervical cancer, the screening is low. There is therefore a need for more sensitization on the need for cervical cancer screening. The Ministry of Health should advocate for cervical cancer screening early enough and tailor the awareness through health education seminars in the community to help improved transfer of correct knowledge on cervical cancer screening services.