Int J Chronic Dis 2018 2;2018:2458232. Epub 2018 May 2.
College of Health Sciences, School of Nursing and Public Health, University of Dodoma, Dodoma, Tanzania.
Background: Awareness about cervical cancer is a first step in the process of screening and early treatment. The purpose of this study was to provide better understanding of basic knowledge about cervical cancer among women of reproductive age in Tanzania.
Method: Data were analyzed from the 2011-2012 Tanzania HIV and Malaria Indicators Survey (THMIS) and a sample of 5542 sexually active women from 15 to 49 years of age were included in the analysis.
Results: Overall knowledge about cervical cancer was high among interviewed women. Only 30.9% of women had never heard about cervical cancer. The predictors of awareness were having secondary or more level of education (AOR = 3.257, 95% CI 2.328-4.557, < 0.001), residing in urban (AOR = 1.365, 95% CI 1.093-1.705, < 0.01), being affluent (AOR = 2.685, 95% CI 2.009-3.587, < 0.001), having one to four children (AOR = 1.36, 95% CI 1.032-1.793), and age of 30-34 years (AOR = 3.15, 95% CI 2.353-4.220, < 0.001), 35-39 years (AOR = 2.46, 95% CI 1.831-3.308, < 0.001), and 40-44 years (AOR = 3.46, 95% CI 2.497-4.784, < 0.001).
Conclusion: While the cervical cancer landscape in Tanzania has evolved since this survey, coverage has not yet been achieved and access to cervical cancer prevention services for rural women and girls remains a concern. Women who were least likely to be aware of cervical cancer were rural women, less affluent women, those with limited education, and those with limited access to the formal economy. Arguably, these are the women who are most at risk for cervical cancer. To close this gap, Tanzania's ongoing efforts to increase access to high-quality cervical cancer prevention services for all women at risk are commendable.
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