Cancer of the cervix: knowledge, beliefs and screening behaviours of health workers in Mudzi District in Mashonaland East Province, Zimbabwe
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Objective: To assess the knowledge, beliefs and screening behaviours on cervical cancer among health workers in Mudzi District, Design: Cross sectional survey. Settings: Mudzi District Hospital and all the 20 rural health centres in Mudzi District ot Mashonaland East. Subjects: Sixty health workers in Mudzi District. Main outcome measures: Knowledge of cervical cancer risk factors, screening methods and treatment options. Beliefs and screening behavioursResults: The knowledge levels were lower for many of the predisposing factors of cervical cancer except for the use of vaginal herbs or chemicals, which 85 % of the health workers knew. Though 50 % of the respondents knew of the Pap smear as a screening method for cervical cancer, 86.6% d:d not know the human papiloma virus screening and 90% did not know of the visual inspection of the cervix using acetic acid. There were also very low knowledge levels for most of the treatment options for pre-cancer with all health workers not knowing the leepand the Laser options. The majority 73.3 % believed that the v where not at risk of developing cervical cancer. Most of the respondents, 81.7% , had not undergone any form of cervical cancer screening. However, the main reason for non screening was that there were no cervical cancer screening facilities in Mudzi District. Conclusion: The study revealed low knowledge levels, negative beliefs about the risk of developing cervical cancer and poor screening behaviours among health workers in Mudzi District. Training in cervical cancer is, therefore, recommended for the health workers. However, the training should be combined with setting up facilities for cervical cancer screening.
Additional Citation InformationTarwirei, F.,Chirenje, Z.M. & Rusakaniko, S.(2003). Cancer of the cervix: knowledge, beliefs and screening behaviours of health workers in Mudzi District in Mashonaland East Province, Zimbabwe. Central African Journal of Medicine.49(7/8), 83-6.
University of Zimbabwe, College of Health Sciences