An Assessment Of Knowledge Levels About Cervical Cancer Among Women Accessing Reproductive Health Services At The Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi , Kenya

Research Article
Rhoydah Nyambane, Hellen Mberia and Ndeti Ndati

Cancer of the cervix is the second most common cancer among women and the leading killer of women in their reproductive ages. The World Health Organization estimated that 529,409 new cases occurred globally, with 274,883 of the women (52% of cases) dying. Of the total new cases each year, about 86% occur in developing countries, where, unfortunately, 80-90% of cervical cancer-related deaths occur due to, among other things, poverty, cultural beliefs and lack of awareness, myths and misconceptions and wrong information. In the developed world, the situation is different. Due to advanced medical care, policies that ensure that women go for pap smears at least once every year, coupled with media awareness, mortality rates as a result of cervical cancer are low compared to the developing world. The situation is quite different in developing world especially where poverty, lack of awareness, myths, misconceptions and cultural beliefs inhibit the detection, diagnosis, treatment and/or management and prevention of cervical cancer among women in their reproductive age. In Kenya, cervical cancer is the second most frequent cancer among women and the leading cause of cancer deaths in women of reproductive age (WRA) with a rate of 300,000 deaths per year. Data from hospital-based registries in Kenya indicate that cancer of the cervix accounted for 70-80% of all cancers of the genital tract and 8-20% of all cancer cases. These statistics do not reflect the cases that go unreported and especially those in the rural areas. It has been reported that there are 10 to 15 new cases of cervical cancer in Nairobi each week. Despite the grave situation in the country, the media, the government and other relevant stakeholders have not made deliberate efforts towards creating awareness campaigns aimed at the prevention of cervical cancer. This paper is based on PHD study that set out to investigate the knowledge levels about cervical cancer among women accessing reproductive health services at the Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi Kenya.