Factors Affecting Cervical Cancer Screening among Women Below 25 Years in Kithare Area, Tharaka Nithi County, Kenya
Ngari, D. Mugambi
Machwara, S. Nyamiaka
Mukami, Fridah M.
MetadataShow full item record
Cervical cancer is the most common neoplasm among women globally affecting approximately 500,000 women with 275,000 succumbing to the disease every year. The prevalence of cervical cancer is disproportionately high in sub-Saharan Africa where the screening rate is low. The study sought to assess the factors affecting cervical cancer screening among women aged 15 - 25 years in Kithare area Tharaka Nithi County. The study was a descriptive cross-sectional study and interviewer administered questionnaires were used to capture the level of knowledge, individual perspectives, attitude and barriers influencing cervical cancer screening. This study was conducted between August and September 2018 with the sample size being 80 respondents. From the findings a significant number of women had two or more sexual partners. The level of knowledge on cervical cancer was significantly low as (55%, n = 44) were aware about the disease, (45%, n = 36) had the correct knowledge when to seek screening, (40%, n = 32) knew the correct interval for attending screening and only (18.7%, n = 15) had been screened before. Reasons for seeking screening for the 18.7% were to know their health status, due to abnormal discharge or as a result of bleeding. (86.3%, n = 69) believed that screening was helpful with reasons being; for early detection of the disease, to know the health status, to prevent infertility and death. (13.7%, n = 11) believed that screening was not helpful with reasons being; the procedure is uncomfortable, painful, it leads to a low self-esteem, fear of wrong results and the diagnosis of cancer. Barriers citied to cervical cancer screening were; inadequate knowledge, negative attitude towards screening, lack of the screening services and cost of services. The knowledge and practice of cervical cancer screening was inadequate. More education on screening should be provided to reduce the misconceptions involved. Provision of free services and more participation in education and sensitization from the healthcare providers should also be done.