Human Papillomavirus and cervical Cancer Prevention: Knowledge and attitudes among Women in Lusaka Urban
MetadataShow full item record
Globally, there are 450,000 new cases and 234,000 deaths annually due to invasive cervical cancer (ICC). Eighty percent of these cases and deaths occur in the developing world.Sub-Saharan Africa bears a disproportionate burden due to ICC, with some of the highest incidence and mortality rates in the world.Zambia has one of the highest ASR (estimated at 30.6 per 100 000 women/year) of ICC in sub-Saharan Africa or elsewhere in the world.A rapid assessment done in one of Zambia's urban communities has revealed a number of myths and misconception that women have about cervical cancer. Unfortunately, no studies in Zambia have yet quantified these knowledge related parameters. To assess the knowledge and attitudes towards prevention of cervical cancer and HPV vaccine acceptability among women in Lusaka, Zambia. Two groups of women in Lusaka, one attending cervical cancer screening (n=48) and another not previously screened in the community (n=45), were interviewed on their knowledge and attitude towards prevention of cervical cancer and their willingness to allow HPV vaccination for their daughters.Age range was 18 to 59 years with mean ages of 36.2 for clinic and 35.9 for the community surveys. Eighty five percent of the women were aware of cervical cancer and 25% ranked it as one of the main health problems. A third mentioned at least one correct symptom and 35% named at least one correct risk factor of cervical cancer. There were other (incorrect) risk factors named which reflected a lack of knowledge and understanding. The majority (56.3%) attended because they had some symptoms. Of the women who attended the screening program the majority of them knew about the screening program through peer educators. The screening procedure motivated the women and 95% of them thought that they had a good experience and wanted to recommend the procedure to their peers. There was a very high rate of positive acceptance (85%) towards HPV vaccination.The women considered cervical cancer as one of the main health problems among women and that a considerable number of them expressed some knowledge about the disease. However, some did express much false information about the disease. On reasons for attending screening, the majority did attend because they had some symptoms. The women overwhelmingly accepted HPV vaccination.