Full Length Research Paper
There are few studies on the awareness and uptake of cervical cancer (Ca Cervix) screening services among Female Sex Workers (FSWs) in Nigeria despite the increased risk of Ca Cervix among FSWs and the potential benefit of early screening. The study aimed to assess the awareness, uptake, barriers to and predictors of uptake of Ca Cervix screening services among FSWs. A cross-sectional analytical study was conducted among 165 female sex workers (FSWs) recruited via snowball sampling in Sokoto State, Nigeria. awareness, uptake, barriers to and predictors of uptake of Ca Cervix screening services The study aimed to assess the among FSWs. Participants were eligible for inclusion if they were brothel-based, had spent at least one year in the profession, and were at least 21 years old or had debuted in sexual intercourse not later than three years from when the study was conducted. A structured interviewer-administered questionnaire and a liquid-based cytology (LBC) test were used to obtain information. Data were analysed using IBM SPSS version 25. Ethical approval was obtained from the Health Research Ethics Committee of the Sokoto State Ministry of Health. Twenty (12.1%) and 11 (6.7%) of the respondents were aware of Ca Cervix and its screening services respectively. The commonest source of information was hospital/health workers 10 (50.0%). One (0.6%) of the respondents reported ever having been screened for cervical cancer in the past, while the highest proportion, 119 (72.1%), utilised the LBC test offered in this study. The commonest barriers to current uptake were lack of interest (93.5%) and invasion of privacy (73.9%). Consistent use of condoms with current partners was found to be a predictor of the uptake of LBC among the study participants, highlighting the need for health education and promotion interventions among FSWs by researchers, health workers, and non-governmental organizations to increase awareness of the disease and its screening tests.
Key words: Awareness, barriers, cervical cancer, female sex workers, uptake.
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