Assessment of the knowledge, attitude and practice of rural women of northeast Nigeria on risk factors associated with cancer of the Cervix


Cervical cancer is the leading cancer-related cause of death among women in Nigeria. An estimated 70,700 new cases occur each year, representing one quarter of all female cancers in sub Saharan Africa. The magnitude of the problem has been under recognised and under prioritised compared with the competing health priorities of infectious diseases such as HIV/ AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Studies in the United States and Nigeria have indicated that the disease has the highest incidence among the lowest socio-economic groups especially residing in rural areas. The peak age for the disease has been shown to be within 35-45 years age group. Knowledge of the risk factors of the disease is deemed important in its early detection and prevention. The objective of this study was to assess the knowledge, attitude and practice of rural women with cancer of the cervix. A cross sectional descriptive study was conducted among 1600 rural women aged 15-55 years (randomly selected from 28 villages) who were interviewed using a structured questionnaire between April and June, 2010. The majority (82.2%) were married before the age of 20 years and 19.3% before 15 years, 40% in polygamous union, 22.6% have had 2 or more sexual partners, 71.3% were primi and grand multiparous, 7.5% have had previous treatment for STIs and 10.1% were on various types of contraceptive. 454 (28.4%) have heard of Ca cervix, 358 (22.4%) knew the location of the cervix. 2.3% had Pap smear test of which 72.6% were within 2 years. The majority (89.9%) will avail themselves for screening.

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Omotara, B. , Yahya, S. , Amodu, M. and Bimba, J. (2013) Assessment of the knowledge, attitude and practice of rural women of northeast Nigeria on risk factors associated with cancer of the Cervix. Health, 5, 1367-1371. doi: 10.4236/health.2013.59186.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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