The World Health Organization recommends cervical cancer screening and vaccination programmes as measures to combat cervical cancer. The uptake of these measures remains low in Uganda, most especially in rural areas. An understanding of the factors that influence women’s decision to attend screening, and willingness to have their daughters vaccinated against cervical cancer is essential for any attempts to increase uptake of these services. This study assessed the factors associated with intention to screen for cervical cancer among women in eastern Uganda, and willingness to have their daughters vaccinated against the disease.
This cross sectional study involved 900 females aged 25 to 49 years in Bugiri and Mayuge districts in eastern Uganda. Data were collected using a pretested semi-structured questionnaire, entered in Epidata version 3.02 and analysed in STATA version 12.0. Unadjusted and adjusted prevalence ratios (PR) were computed using a generalized linear model with Poisson family, and a log link with robust standard errors.
Majority 819 (91.0%) of respondents stated that they intended to go for cervical cancer screening in the subsequent six months. Among them, 603 (73.6%) wanted to know their status, 256 (31.3%) thought it was important, 202 (24.7%) wanted to reduce their chances of getting the disease, and 20 (2.4%) had been told to do so by a health worker. Majority 813 (90.4%) of respondents were willing to vaccinate their daughters against cervical cancer. Higher income (adjusted PR = 1.11, 95% CI: 1.03–1.20), cervical cancer screening status (adjusted PR = 0.81, 95% CI: 0.67–0.99) and knowledge of at least one test for cervical cancer (adjusted PR = 0.92, 95% CI: 0.85–0.98) were significantly associated with intention to screen for cervical cancer. No socio-demographic characteristic was associated with willingness to vaccinate daughters among women.
There is a very high intention to screen and willingness to vaccinate daughters against cervical cancer among women in eastern Uganda. To take advantage of this, there is need to avail opportunities for women to access cervical cancer screening and vaccinations particularly among rural communities.