Integration of cervical screening in family planning clinics.
De, Vuyst H
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OBJECTIVES: To assess the suitability of cervical cancer screening in family planning (FP) clinics and the relevance for women's health. METHODS: A survey was done on clients visiting the clinics of the Family Planning Association of Kenya (FPAK). Client characteristics, age, screening status and PAP smear results were registered. In-depth interviews were held with a limited number of staff and clients. RESULTS: In 1999, 38052 clients visited FPAK clinics, 43.5% were younger than 30 years old. More than 10000 cervical smears were taken. A total of 4.5% of the smears were abnormal, including 1.5% high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL) and 0.2% invasive cancers. The clinics were well prepared to provide high quality screening services. Patients and staff had a positive view on screening. CONCLUSIONS: Providing cervical cancer screening in FP clinics is beneficial for the clients but is unlikely to have an impact on the epidemiology of cervical cancer morbidity as FP services reach only a small percentage of the women who are most at risk. Measures to reach more and older women could assure a larger impact.