Introduction: Cancer of the cervix is the second most common cancer among women worldwide and is the major cause of cancer deaths in developing countries. Screening is among the common cost effective control methods for the disease. This study ascertained the determinants of cervical cancer screening uptake among female undergraduates in a tertiary institution in south eastern Nigeria.
Methods: This cross sectional study was conducted using a stratified sampling technique among 375 respondents. A pretested semi structured questionnaire was used for data collection and SPSS version 21 was used in data analysis in which the association between qualitative variables was ascertained using Chi-square test at p<0.05 probability level.
Results: The result revealed that majority of 321 (85.6%) were aware of CC as a disease and 202 (53.9%) of the respondents were aware of cervical cancer screening test. The study revealed that the uptake of cervical cancer screening was low among the female undergraduates. Only few 27 (7.2%) of the respondents have been previously screened for cervical cancer. High cost of screening 128 (31.2%) was the major reason for not undergoing screening. Significant association existed between socio-demographic variables (age, level of study, marital status and monthly allowance) and uptake of cervical cancer. Most of the respondents 10 (17.2%) that had been screened for cervical cancer were within the age bracket of 25-29 years and were in 500 level 21(19.4). Cervical cancer uptake was higher 9 (29%) in married females compared to single females 18 (5.2%). It was also indicated that all the participants who have been screened were screened at a cost of ₦ 1,001- ₦ 2,000. Majority of them 11 (25.6%) earned monthly allowance of ₦ 23,001- ₦ 30,000. Strong association were also found between awareness of cervical cancer (X² = 4.89, P = 0.027), availability of screening centre (X² = 37.433, P = <0.001), cost of screening (X² = 100,793, P = <0.001) and uptake of screening.
Conclusion: The study revealed that the uptake of cervical cancer screening was low among the female undergraduates. In order to enhance screening uptake among female undergraduates, there is an urgent need to review the cost of screening especially in the school’s health centre and other hospitals/clinics within the school environment.
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