Knowledge and practices towards screening of cervical cancer among female students at Makerere University College of Health Sciences between the age of 18-45 years, Kampala, Uganda
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Title: Knowledge and practices towards cervical cancer screening among the female students, at Makerere University College of Health sciences. Background: Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer among women worldwide with an estimation of 60400 new cases and 34200 deaths. Cervical cancer is mainly caused by human papilloma virus which occurs in two forms, that is to say, type 16 and 18 which are responsible for nearly 50% of high grade cervical pre-cancers. HPV is mainly transmitted through sexual contact with an infected person of which majority are infected shortly after the onset of sexual activity. More than 90% of them clear the infection eventually Objective: The aim of this study was to explore the knowledge and practices about cervical cancer screening among female students at MaKCHS. Methodology: An exploratory qualitative study, using both phone and face-to-face individual interviews was used. A purposive sampling method was used that involved a certain number of female students at Makerere University College of Health Sciences. Results: Two themes were identified: 1) knowledge about cervical cancer screening. 2) Practice of cervical cancer screening. Majority of the students reported being knowledgeable on cervical cancer regardless of the year of study. However, noted was the huge practice gap. Despite the reported practice and the knowledge gap, all participants showed very positive attitude towards the study. Conclusion: The female students demonstrated a negative attitude towards cervical cancer screening despite the reported knowledge and practice gap.