Awareness and Uptake of Cervical Cancer Screening with Pap test among antenatal clinic Attendees at a Nigerian Tertiary Hospital.

Peter Waripamo Oweisi1*, Israel Jeremiah1, Nkencho Osegi1, Zakaa Zawua1
1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Nigeria.
*Correspondence: Dr. Peter Waripamo Oweisi; +234 803 708 9554;

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Background: The burden of cervical cancer has continued to worsen in developing countries. Available evidence suggests that the lack of awareness and poor utilization of the Papanicolaou test are significant contributors to the high mortality from the disease. Pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal clinic visits afford women opportunities of contact with health facilities where cervical cancer enlightenment and the Papanicolaou test can be done.
Objective: To determine the awareness and attitudes towards cervical cancer screening with the Pap test and its utilisation among antenatal clinic attendees at the Federal Medical Centre Yenagoa, and to make recommendations relevant to improving cervical cancer prevention in the region.
Materials and Methods: A prospective cross-sectional descriptive study of 300 pregnant women attending the antenatal clinic of the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa. A closed-ended interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to collect data. Data analysis was done using SPSS for windows® version 22.0. The level of statistical significance was set at a probability value of less than 0.05 (P < 0.05).
Results: Of all the respondents, only 49% were aware of cervical cancer as an entity, 32% knew it was a preventable disease, 28% were aware of the pap test as a screening test for the condition but only 9.3% had done a pap test. Women who were ≥25 years of age (odds ratio = 3), with higher (secondary and tertiary) education (odds ratio = 8) and multiparous (odds ratio = 1.67) were more likely to have heard of cervical cancer and also know about the Pap test as a screening test for cervical cancer, but multiparity (P = 0.01) was the only statistically significant factor that influenced the uptake of the Pap test. Ninety-six percent of the respondents were willing to do the Pap test if given the opportunity and all the respondents recommended repeated sensitisation about cervical cancer and its prevention including pap test during the antenatal clinic sessions of health talks. Identified barriers to the uptake of the pap test include lack of awareness, cost, long hospital waiting times, perceived unfriendly attitudes of hospital staff and invasion of privacy.
Conclusion: In a developing country like ours, that is fraught with known challenges with provision and utilization of health services, the antenatal and post-natal clinic visits are golden opportunities for healthcare providers to routinely educate women about cervical cancer and offer them opportunities for its screening.

Keywords: Cervical cancer, Mortality, Preventable disease.

Cite this article: Oweisi PW, Jeremiah I, Osegi N, Zawua Z. Awareness and Uptake of Cervical Cancer Screening with Pap test among antenatal clinic Attendees at a Nigerian Tertiary Hospital. Yen Med J 2020; 2(1):85-93.


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