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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 20-24

The uptake of cervical cancer control services at a cancer information service center in Lagos, Nigeria

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
2 Sebeccly Cancer Care and Support Center, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Kehinde Sharafadeen Okunade
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, PMB 12003, Lagos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/NJGP.NJGP_21_17

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Background: There is currently an increase in the incidence of cervical cancer in Nigeria and cancer information service (CIS) is now assuming an emerging role in cervical cancer control. Objectives: The objective of this study is to assess the uptake of the CIS program and also determine the rate of positive screening using visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) as a screening modality among the female CIS users in Lagos. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study carried out over a period of 1 year (January to December 2015), using a health communications program (mHealth). An initial period of public awareness was carried out over a 3-month period after which members of the public were encouraged to call the cervical cancer helplines. Cervical cancer information was provided by the callers and data were recorded by information specialists during the study. Data analyses were carried out using Epi info version 7.2 and descriptive statistics were computed for all data. Association between outcome of VIA screening and previous cervical screening were tested using the Fisher's exact test. Statistically significant result was reported at P < 0.05. Results: An average of 33 calls per month, equivalent to 4.4 per 100,000 population in Lagos state, was received during the study. Of the callers referred for screening, only 16 out of the 301 (5.3%) that presented had positive VIA test. There was about 1.9 fold risk of testing positive to VIA screening among the previously unscreened women compared to those with previous cervical screenings (crude odd ratio – 1.87, 95% confidence interval – 0.99–3.05, P= 0.116). Conclusion: There is a significantly low uptake of the CIS in Lagos, and there is an even lower practice of cervical cancer screenings among the CIS callers. However, the rapid growth of mobile phone use in Nigeria still presents a unique opportunity that can be explored to improve cancer care.

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