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Year : 2005  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 179-182

Awareness and Practice of Cervical Cancer Screening among Female Health Professionals in Murtala Mohammed Specialist Hospital, Kano

Dept. of Community Medicine Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Dept. of Community Medicine and Primary Care, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
M Kabir
Dept. of Community Medicine Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Dept. of Community Medicine and Primary Care, Bayero University, Kano
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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BACKGROUND: Cervical cancer, although largely preventable, remains the most common cause of cancer mortality among women in the developing world. Other members of the community see health care workers as models, therefore their attitudes and actions are predictors of societal health behaviour. OBJECTIVES: We assessed the knowledge, attitude and practice regarding prevention of cervical cancer among female health professionals in a secondary health facility in Kano, Nigeria. METHODS: A structured questionnaire was administered on 230 female respondents in the various health professions including doctors, pharmacists, nurses and laboratory technologists in Murtala Mohammed Specialist hospital, Kano. RESULTS: Over 60% of the respondents were able to correctly identify all the important aetiological factors associated with cervical cancer, while a similar figure knew the important signs and symptoms of the disease. Up to 94.7% of the respondents had a positive attitude towards Pap smear while 8.2% disapproved of it. Only 20.8% of the respondents have had a Pap smear done previously. Married respondents were more than four times likely to have had a previous Pap smear compared to their single counterparts. (X(2) = 13.3 df=1 P = 0.0003)[O.R=4.8, 95% confidence interval= 1.9 -14.4]. In contrast, religion appeared to have no significant influence on the practice (X(2)= 0.87 df=1 P=0.35). CONCLUSIONS: Despite a moderately high level of knowledge of cervical cancer screening and positive attitude towards it, the uptake of Pap smear was low. There is a need for continuing education to improve uptake of these services by health professionals so as to serve as a motivating factor for the public.

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