Uptake of cervical cancer screening services and associated factors among women in Ruhaama County, Ntungamo District
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Introduction: Routine screening for cervical cancer allows for early detection, prevention and treatment of precancerous lesions and early disease. However, the current cervical cancer screening rate in Uganda is low at30%, this is way below the national target of at least 80% of eligible women. Therefore this study sought to determine the uptake of cervical cancer screening services and associated factors among women in Ruhaama County. Methodology: A cross sectional design was employed using mixed methods of data collection and analysis. Quantitative data was collected using a pretested semi-structured questionnaire among women aged 18 years and above. Data were entered in EPI DATA 3.1 and analysed in STATA 14. Data was analyzed using describe statistics, Chi-square test and prevalence ratios were used to measure the association between uptake and factors for CC screening.Qualitative data was collected using semi-structured key informant and in-depth guides, transcribed and analysed using thematic content method of analysis. Results: Out of 399 respondents, majority (57%) had attained primary education and belonged (57.3%) in 21-35 age group. Self-reported uptake of cervical cancer screening services was 24.8%. There was a strong and positive association between having received information on cervical cancer and its screening from health professionals[Adj. PR = 2.07 (95% CI: 1.26–3.41), p = 0.004]; need of approval from husband before screening [Adj. PR = 1.88 (95% CI: 1.27– 2.78), p = 0.001], ever discussed uptake of cervical screening with spouse [Adj. PR = 2.07 (95% CI: 1.05–2.21), p = 0.025 and self-perceived risk [Adj. PR = 2.51 (95% CI: 1.80–3.50), p <0.001]. Participants who knew at least one prevention method [PR = 1.73 (95% CI: 1.08–2.77), p = 0.023] had a higher likelihood of being screened. However participants who knew at least one risk factor were 0.54 times less likely to uptake the screening services [PR = 0.54 (95% CI: 0.33–0.87), p = 0.012] Conclusion and recommendation Uptake of CC screening in Ruhaama district is low. In our study, key determinants of selfreported uptake of screening services included Knowledge on prevention methods of cervical cancer, support from husbands, discussing screening for cervical cancer with spouse, recommendation by a health workers and high self-perceived risk to cervical cancer as. Therefore, policy makers could focus on increasing knowledge and awareness through comprehensive health education and male involvement in maternal health services to increase uptake of cervical screening services among women in rural areas.