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Abstract

CERVICAL CANCER KNOWLEDGE, AWARENESS, SCREENING AND VACCINATION AMONG FEMALE UNDERGRADUATE HEATH PROFESSIONAL STUDENTS OF NIGER DELTA UNIVERSITY IN SOUTH – SOUTH NIGERIA

*Eniojukan Joshua F., Ganiyu Kehinde A. and Ikoah Celestine N.

ABSTRACT

Cervical cancer (CC) is a preventable cancer of the female genital tract responsible for huge morbidity and mortality globally especially among women in areas where organized screening is not available. This study aimed at evaluating the knowledge of CC, its screening and prevention among undergraduate health professionals in a tertiary institution in south-south Nigeria. A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out. Data was retrieved with the use of self-designed and pre-tested questionnaires. A total of 250 students were surveyed comprising of pharmacy, nursing, medical lab and medical students. Data was analyzed with SPSS version 20. Most respondents were single (80.5%) within age range 15-30 years (96.3%); over 60% ever had sexual intercourse that debuted at 15-20 years of age. Nearly half (49.3%) had multiple sexual partners. CC prevalence was 3.3%; majority of respondents (85.6%) had a good knowledge of CC; sources of information included television (40.5%), seminars (12.1%) and school lectures (7.9%). 64.6%, 59.5%, and 59.1% positively identified Pelvic Examination, The Pap Smear and HPV testing respectively as CC screening methods but only 16.3% of respondents had ever been screened. Knowledge of CC vaccine was low; only 26% ever heard of CC vaccine and only 4.2% had been vaccinated. There is need to beef up undergraduate curricula and to improve on current levels of CC awareness and knowledge among this population.

Keywords: Cervical Cancer, Knowledge, Screening, Vaccine, Undergraduate Students, Prevalence.


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