Perception and Utilization of Cervical Cancer Screening Services among Female Students in Public Tertiary Institutions in Owerri Metropolis, Imo State


Chiedozie Nwachukwu*, Nwoke EA, Nwaokoro JC, Ede AO, Iwuoh G and Ogboga JO

Cervical cancer is an important reproductive health problem. In order reduce the incidence of cervical cancer, this study was considered important to ensure that female students develop good understanding of utilization of cervical cancer screening. Some related literatures were reviewed. Objective: This study aimed to determine the perception and utilization of cervical cancer screening among female students in tertiary institutions in Owerri Metropolis, Imo State. A descriptive research design was adopted for the study. Analysis of data was done using the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 20.0. The results showed that majority 380(79%) of the students have heard about cervical cancer and 120(32%) reported through health personnel; 200(41.7%) of the students were aware of cervical cancer screening and 160(33%) utilized cervical cancer screening. Though, 50% of them reported they were motivated to go for the cervical cancer screening by doctors. In terms of the factors that affect the utilization of cervical cancer screening; 69.8% said lack of awareness of the test, 10.4% said lack of time, 8.3% said lack of awareness about where to do the test, 4.2% said fear of the result and cost consideration, 2.1% said procedure is cumbersome and only 1% reported not sexually active to go for the test. Then, majority (140) of them between 20-24 years agreed on utilization of cervical cancer screening and pearson chi-square (x2) test showed significant relationship (x2=214.154; df=4 at p<0.001). In conclusion, the findings from this study showed that few numbers of students were aware and able to utilize cervical cancer screening in the study area. Therefore, there is need for female undergraduate students to be educated on the impact of cervical cancer and encouraged to go for screening test for prevention of the disease.