Knowledge, attitudes and practice of cervical cancer screening among private health workers in Kampala District, Uganda.
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BACKGROUND: Cervical cancer is an important public health problem for adult women in developing countries including Uganda. Over 80% patients with cervical cancer presenting to Mulago Hospital have advanced disease. Developing countries depend on opportunistic screening were women are offered the service when they present to clinics for some other problems. Private health workers are quite often consulted by patients because of various health problems. Defining the gap in knowledge, attitude and practice of cervical cancer screening among the private health workers was an important aspect of this study. OBJECTIVE: To determine the knowledge, attitude and practice of cervical cancer screening among private health workers in Kampala District, Uganda. METHODS: This was a cross sectional study conducted in the five divisions of Kampala District. The study assessed 216 private health workers. DATA MANAGEMENT: Quantitative data was collected using a self administrative questionnaire while qualitative data was got from 15 in-depth interviews. The quantitative data collected was entered into the computer using Epi data, cleaned and exported to SPSS for analysis. The qualitative data was analysed manually into themes. RESULTS: 216 private health workers participated in the study. There were 159 females (73.6%) and 57 males (25.4%). Midwives and nurses comprised the majority of respondents 168 (77.8%). Of all respondents, 81% had heard about screening, but the level of adequate knowledge was 78.2%. Attitude of private health workers was generally positive. Of the female respondents, only 24.5% had screened and 22.8% of partners had screened. Use of IEC material was very low (14.8%). CONCLUSION: More than half of the private health workers had adequate knowledge, the majority had positive attitude but the practice of cervical cancer screening was low. RECOMMENDATION: There is need to improve the knowledge of PHW on cervical cancer screening as well as their practice of screening.