Knowledge, attitudes, practices and barriers related to cervical cancer, screening and human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination among female non-health professionals in the Offinso South Municipality, Ashanti Region, Ghana.
Cervical cancer, a largely preventable cancer, is the commonest cancer among women in Ghana and the leading cause of cancer mortalities. Prevention is through HPV vaccination and cervical screening. Developed countries, through effective screening programmes, have seen a remarkable decline in the incidence of and mortality associated with cervical cancer. This is in sharp contrast to what pertains in developing countries where the majority of cases are seen. The main objective of the study was to identify the factors that are associated with the patronage of HPV vaccination and cervical cancer screening services among female non-health professionals in the Offinso South municipality in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. Materials and A cross sectional descriptive study with a self-administered questionnaire was conducted from July to September, 2015 to assess the knowledge, attitudes, practices and barriers related to cervical cancer, screening and HPV vaccination. A total of 301 randomly selected women participated in this study. Only 19.6% of respondents had adequate knowledge about cervical cancer, screening and HPV vaccination. 90% of them had a positive attitude towards the disease. Only 2% of the non-health professionals had previously been screened. 2 out of the 301 participants had received the HPV vaccine. Major barriers to these services are lack of knowledge about screening/HPV vaccination and where to access them. Their knowledge and attitudes were not significantly associated with their practice. Majority of the study participants are not knowledgeable about cancer of the cervix, screening and HPV vaccination. Despite their positive attitudes, very few of them had been screened or vaccinated.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Health Policy, Management and Economics, College of Health Sciences, School of Public Health, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Public Health in Health Services Planning and Management,