Factors Associated with Uptake of Cervical Cancer Screening among Women Aged 18-49 Years in Njiru Sub-County, Nairobi Kenya

Winnie Mungai, Gideon Kikuvi, Peter Wanzala, Charles Mutai


Cervical cancer remains a major public health concern in developing countries including Kenya, where it is currently ranked the highest cause of cancer deaths. Early detection of cervical cancer using Pap smear provides an appropriate way of prevention which, would in turn lead to a decrease in incidence and mortality. This study aimed at assessing the awareness, perceptions, reproductive and sexual practices influencing uptake of cervical cancer screening among women aged 18-49 years in Njiru Sub County, Nairobi County. Two hundred and forty seven women participated in this cross-sectional study. Data were collected using semi-structured questionnaires and focused group discussion (FGD). Data was analyzed using SPSS version 19.0. Descriptive statistics were used to give proportions and frequencies. Pearson’s chi square (χ2) was used to test for associations among variables and differences were considered statistically significant at p≤0.05. The mean age of the respondents was 30.7±1.18 years. Most (32%), of the respondents were aged 25-29 years. Majority (96.4%) of the respondents in this study were Christians and most (68%) of them were married. Approximately fifty percent of the study respondents had primary level education followed by secondary (38.9%), tertiary (8.9%) and no formal education 2.4%. About 46% of the respondents were self-employed. Approximately eighty five percent (211/247) of the study respondents were aware of cervical cancer and had commonly (36.4%) obtained their information from media followed by health talks (34.8 %). Of those who were aware 25.6% (54/211) reported cervical cancer to be caused by Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Most 43.6% (41/94) of the respondents who had ever been screened perceived the cervical screening procedures as uncomfortable followed by 24.5% (23/94) who perceived it as embarrassing. Majority 52.1% (49/94) of those who had been screened reported to have not received any support from their partners. More than ninety percent 94.7% reported that cervical cancer screening was very useful in the prevention of cervical cancer. The factors associated with uptake of cervical cancer screening were awareness (p≤0.035), opinion about cervical screening (p≤0.000), cervical screening usefulness (p≤0.006), frequency of having cervical screening done (p≤0.000) and partner support (p≤0.000). There is need to improve public awareness by educating women on the risk factors associated with cervical cancer and benefits of cervical screening through health talks and promotions, mass media awareness. Health professionals and healthcare workers should take the opportunity to educate and encourage women attending health facilities for other health problems to undergo cervical cancer screening. There is need to include men in education on cervical cancer especially sexual partners/ spouses so that they can encourage their spouses/partners in terms of moral and material support to increase the uptake of cervical cancer screening.

Keywords: cervical cancer, screening, uptake, awareness

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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