Cervical screening is effective in mitigating the morbidity and mortality of cervical cancer. However, the uptake of cervical screening is still unsatisfactory in many countries. The aim of this study was to assess the knowledge and perception of rural Nigerian women about cervical cancer and screening. The study also investigated the predictors of cervical screening. A survey with interviewer administered questionnaires was conducted on 800 Nigerian women recruited from households in Ogun State by a multi-staged sampling method. Participants were aged 25 to 64 years. Proportion of respondents with very poor knowledge and poor perception about cervical cancer were 93.9 and 94%, respectively. Hence, it is not surprising that the uptake of cervical screening is abysmally low (3.9%). Age, knowledge and perception about cervical cancer were related to uptake of cervical screening; however, only perception about cervical cancer was found to predict the uptake of cervical screening. There is a need for deliberate multi strategy program to enhance cervical screening. The strategy must include creation of awareness, health promotion and education about cervical cancer and screening. The strategies should target improving the perception of women about cervical cancer and screening.
Key words: Cervical cancer, uptake of cervical screening, knowledge, perception and predictors.
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