Journal of
Public Health and Epidemiology

  • Abbreviation: J. Public Health Epidemiol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2316
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPHE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 581

Full Length Research Paper

Comparative screening for cervical cancer and women’s knowledge of the disease at the Douala General Hospital, Cameroon

Bernard Wabo
  • Bernard Wabo
  • Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Buea, P. O. Box 63, Buea, South West, Cameroon.
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Dickson Shey Nsagha
  • Dickson Shey Nsagha
  • Department of Public Health and Hygiene, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Buea, P. O. Box 63, Buea, South West, Cameroon.
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Theophile Njamen Nana
  • Theophile Njamen Nana
  • Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Buea, Buea, P. O. Box 63, Buea, South West, Cameroon.
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Clement Jules Nguedia Assob
  • Clement Jules Nguedia Assob
  • Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Buea, P. O. Box 63, Buea, South West, Cameroon.
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  •  Received: 27 January 2021
  •  Accepted: 26 April 2021
  •  Published: 31 May 2021

Abstract

Cervical cancer screening is not routinely done in Cameroon because of poor knowledge of the disease. This study evaluated the validity of VIA test, assessed women’s knowledge on cervical cancer and assessed the relationship between knowledge score and previous screening participation. Between June and September 2018, this cross-sectional study enrolled 256 women aged between 25 and 65 years at the Douala General Hospital. After filling in a structured questionnaire, consented respondents were screened for cervical cancer using the Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid (VIA) and the Papanicolaou (Pap) smear. Descriptive statistics were carried out using SPSS v 20. Of the 256 respondents, 30 [11.7%, 95% CI: 8.2 - 16.0] and 34 [13.3%, 95% CI: 9.3 - 17.5] were positive for Pap smear and VIA test, respectively. VIA test had the sensitivity of 80.0% and the specificity of 95.6%. About 251 [98.0%, 95% CI: 96.1 - 99.6] respondents were aware of cervical cancer; 236 [92.2%, 95% CI: 88.7 - 95.3] other had poor knowledge of the disease but 95 [37.1%, 95% CI: 31 - 43] declared previous screening participation. Respondents with satisfactory knowledge score were more likely to have had previous screening participation [OR= 2.89: 95%CI: 1.08-7.70, p= 0.029] than those with poor score. High prevalence of cervical cancer and low previous screening participation were attributed to poor knowledge of the disease, thus necessitating a planned health education.

Key words: Cervical cancer, Pap smear, VIA test, sensitivity, specificity, knowledge.