Knowledge, attitude and practices regarding cervical cancer and screening among women visiting primary health care facilities in Kibera informal settlement in Nairobi city, Kenya
In Kenya, Cervical cancer is the second most common form of cancer among women aged 18-49 years after breast cancer. Current estimates indicate that every year in Kenya, 2454 new cases of cervical cancer are reported and 1676 deaths from the disease. The screening levels remain low at just 3.2 percent of among women aged 18-69 years compared with 70 percent of women in the developed world. This study was undertaken with the objective of determining the knowledge, attitude, and practice relating to cancer of cervix among women seeking healthcare services in primary health facilities in Kibera. It was guided by four research objectives; to examine the level of knowledge on cervical cancer and screening among women attending primary health care services; to evaluate the attitude towards screening for premalignant cervical lesions among women attending primary health care services, to establish the practice of women attending primary health care services on cervical cancer screening and to find out the factors that determine uptake and non-uptake of screening for cancer of cervix among women attending primary health care services. The study adopted a cross sectional, descriptive study design with the population consisting of women of reproductive age 18-49 years attending health care services in the targeted facilities in Kibera. The study employed simple random sampling technique to select a sample of women seeking healthcare services in healthcare facilities in Kibera. Three of the 47 health facilities in Kibera which offered cancer screening services were selected purposely. The total available population was 450 out of whom a sample of 45 was selected from the three facilities on the basis of proportion. Questionnaires were used to collect data from the respondents and the data analyzed through the use of SPSS. The study findings showed that women of reproductive age lacked the knowledge on various aspects of cervical cancer. The uptake of screening services has however remained low with the women’s education, attitude and knowledge contributing significantly to the level of uptake. The study therefore recommended that there is need for the Ministry of Health to enhance education at the health facilities especially lower cadre facility to promote awareness for cervical cancer and cervical cancer screening. There is need also to make a deliberate effort to invest in the well trained personnel and equipment. The Ministry of Health should also provide more training and health education services to the women in Kenya on the cervical cancer.