Factors influencing uptake of screening cervical cancer among Women of reproductive age in Vihiga county, Kenya
Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women. It is the leading cause of deaths among women worldwide. It is estimated that 493000 new cases and 274000 deaths occur every year due to this preventable disease (Ferlay et al, 2002). Though it has high mortality there is a potential of preventing it when detection is done early. This study sought to establish the factors influencing the uptake of cervical cancer screening in Vihiga County. The objectives of study were: To determine how education and accessibility to health facilities influences uptake of screening cervical cancer, To assess how awareness influences uptake of screening cervical cancer, To investigate the social cultural factors that influence uptake of screening cervical cancer, and To establish how cost influences uptake of screening cervical cancer. To address these objectives, the study adopted a descriptive survey research design employing both qualitative and quantitative on a target population of 83193 respondents who are women in reproductive age in Vihiga County. The sample size was 380 respondents who are women of reproductive age residents of Vihiga County utilizing health services. Primary data was collected by use of questionnaires. The questionnaires had both open and close ended questions. Open ended questions were desirable so as to encourage the respondents to give an in depth response without feeling constrained. On the other hand, close ended questions were used because they save on time and are easy to fill and analyze. Data was coded, entered and analyzed using SPSS 11.5 for frequency tables, and categorical responses within indicators were established using cross-tabulation. Inferences on the analyzed data was then made from the findings and the results presented in tables (both frequencies and percentages and cross tabulation results). Basing on the objectives of the study, it was found that 68.2% of respondents said that accessibility to health facility largely influenced the decision of up taking cervical cancer screening among women of reproductive age in Vihiga County. On education and awareness 36.4% respondents said that it influences the uptake of cervical cancer screening among women of child bearing age in Vihiga county, social factors such as religion viewed 51.4% that this factor did not influence the uptake of cervical cancer. On affordability 56.7% said they cannot afford the treatment expenses that come with diagnosis with cervical cancer in advanced stage. Uptake of cervical cancer screening was cross tabulated along all indicators in effort to establish categorical responses among all indicators that influenced the decision to uptake cervical cancer screening.