Awareness of Cervical Cancer among Women in Uasin Gishu County, Kenya

  • Georgine Kemboi Department of Applied Environmental Social Sciences, School of Environmental Studies, University of Eldoret, P.O Box 125-30100 Eldoret, Kenya
  • John Obiri Board of Postgraduate studies, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology P.O Box 190-50100 Kakamega, Kenya
  • Charles Mutai Department of Biomedical Science and Technology, School of Public Health, Masinde Muliro University P.O Box 190-50100 Kakamega, Kenya
Keywords: Cervical cancer, knowledge, attitude, socio-cultural practices.


Globally, cancer is a public health problem and is ranks as the fourth most frequent cancer among women. About half a million women develop invasive cancer of the uterine cervix each year, with more than 85% occurring in low-income countries. This study assessed cervical cancer awareness on among women in Uasin Gishu County, Kenya. A house hold survey was conducted among women of reproductive age (18-49 years) in Uasin Gishu County. The data was collected using a semi-structured questionnaire, interview schedules and focus group discussions. Statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) was used to generate statistical parameters like mean, standard deviation, etc. The X2 test was used as a test of significance and multiple logistic regression analysis with odds ratio at 95% confidence interval was utilized. Majority of the participants, 91.4% (n=363) had heard about cervical cancer with the main source of information being from the media 38.2% (n=136). Although majority 73% (n=229) were able to identify how cervical cancer is transmitted, only 24% (n=86) correctly identified HPV as the causative agent of cervical cancer. Vaginal bleeding was identified 40.5% (n=162) as the common sign and symptom of cervical cancer. 83.3% (n=280) reported that anyone who had ever had sexual contact qualified to be screened. Though majority 83.7% (n=304) indicated willingness to go for cervical cancer screening, actual practice was low at 35.5%. Though there was adequate knowledge and awareness about cervical cancer, the same did not translate into practice. This was attributed to the general negative attitude towards cervical cancer control interventions.


. Parkin, D. M., Ferlay, J., Hamdi-Cherif, M., Sitas, F., Thomas, J.O., & Wabinga, H. (2003). Cancer in Africa: Epidemiology and Prevention.Lyon: IARC Press153, 23–25.

. WHO (2009/2010). Strengthening Cervical Cancer Prevention and Control. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organisation

. Manaf, R.A. and Ismail, S. (2017). Pap Smear Uptake and Its Associated Factors Among Orang Asli Women in Selangor Malaysian Journal of Medicine and Health Sciences 13(3):3

. Abotchie, P.N. and Shokar, N.K. (2009). Cervical cancer screening among college students in Ghana: knowledge and health beliefs. International Journal of Gynecological Cancer 19, 412-416.

. WHO/ICO Information Centre on HPV and Cervical Cancer (HPV Information Centre). Human Papillomavirus and Related Cancers in World. Summary Report 2010

. Ferlay, J., Soerjomataram, I., Ervik, M., Dikshit, R., Eser, S., Mathers, C., Rebelo, M., Parkin, D.M., Forman, D. and Bray, F. (2013). GLOBOCAN 2012 v1.0, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 11 Internet. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer. Available from

. ICO/IARC HPV Information Centre:Kenya Human Papillomavirus and Related Cancers, Fact Sheet 2017.

. Sudenga, S.L., Rositch, A.F., Otieno, W.A., and Smith, J. (2013) ‘Knowledge, attitudes, practices, and perceived risk of cervical cancer among Kenyan women: brief report’, International Journal of Gynecologic Cancer, 23(5):895-9. Yamane, T. (1967). Statistics: An Introductory Analysis, 2nd Edition, New York: Harper and Row.

. Yamane, T. (1967). Statistics: An Introductory Analysis, 2nd Edition, New York: Harper and Row.

. Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS). (2009). Economic survey 2009, Government Printer, Nairobi: KNBS

. Almobarak, A.O., Elbadawi, E.E., Elmadhoun, W.M., Elhoweris, M.H and Ahmed, M.H (2016). Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices of Sudanese Women Regarding the Pap Smear Test and Cervical Cancer; Asian Pacific journal of cancer prevention: APJCP 17(2):625-30. • March 2016 DOI: 10.7314/APJCP.2016.17.2.625

. Hoque, E., and Hoque, M. (2009). Knowledge of and attitude towards cervical cancer among female university students in South Africa: original research. S Afr J Infect Dis.;24:21–4.

. Ramathuba, D.U., Ngambi, D., Khoza, L.B. and Ramakuela, N.J. (2016). Knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding cervical cancer prevention at Thulamela Municipality of Vhembe District in Limpopo Province. Afr J Prm Health Care Fam Med. 2016;8(2), a1002.

. Allen, J. D., Pérez, J. E., Tom, L., Leyva, B., Diaz, D., & Torres, M. I. (2014). A pilot test of a church-based intervention to promote multiple cancer-screening behaviors among Latinas. Journal of Cancer Education, 29(1), 136-143.

. Jassim,G. Obeid, A and Al Nasheet, H.A (2018)Knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding cervical cancer and screening among women visiting primary health care Centres in Bahrain BMC Public Health. 2018; 18: 128. doi: 10.1186/s12889-018-5023-7

. Shiferaw N, Salvador-Davila G, Kassahun K, Brooks MI, Weldegebreal T, Tilahun, Y. (2016). The Single-Visit Approach as a Cervical Cancer Prevention Strategy Among Women With HIV in Ethiopia: Successes and Lessons Learned. Global health, science and practice. 2016. March;4(1):87–98. doi: 10.9745/GHSP-D-15-00325 .

. Modibbo, F. I., Dareng, E., & Bamisaye, P. (2016). Qualitative study of barriers to cervical cancer screening among Nigerian women. BMJ Open 2016;6:e008533. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015008533

. Shibeshi, S.H and Degefu, M. (2017). Assessment of knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) of cervical cancer and screening among adult army women aged 18 years and above in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. International Journal of Advanced research DOI URL: http//

. Mukama, T., Ndejjo, R., Musabyimana, A., Halage, A.A. and Musoke, D. (2017). Women's knowledge and attitudes towards cervical cancer prevention: A cross sectional study in Eastern Uganda. BMC Womens Health 2017;17:9.

. Shah, V., Vyas, S and Singh, A. (2012). Awareness and knowledge of cervical cancer and its prevention among the nursing staff of a tertiary health institute in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India ecancer medical science 2012, 6:270 DOI: 10.3332/ecancer.2012.27

. Moshi, F.V. Vandervor, E.B and Kibusi, S. 2018). Cervical Cancer Awareness among Women in Tanzania: An Analysis of Data from the 2011-12 Tanzania HIV and Malaria Indicators Survey International Journal of Chronic Diseases Volume 2018, Article ID 2458232, 7 pages

. Getachew E (2015). Knowledge attitude and practice on cervical cancer and screening among reproductive health service clients, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 1: 1-6.

. Kivistik et al. (2011) Women’s knowledge about cervical cancer risk factors, screening, and reasons for non-participation in cervical cancer screening programme in Estonia. BMC Women’s Health 2011 11:43.

. Nayak, A. U., Murthy, S. N., Swarup, A., Dutt, V., Muthukumar, V., (2015). Current knowledge, attitude, and practice about cervical cancer among rural Indian women. International Journal of Medical Science and Public Health | 2016 | Vol 5 | Issue 081554

. Williams, M.S and Amoateng, P. (2012). Knowledge and Beliefs about Cervical Cancer Screening Among Men in Kumasi, Ghana; Ghana Med J. 2012 Sep; 46(3): 147–151

. Touch, S and Kyoung Oh, J. (2018). Knowledge, attitudes, and practices toward cervical cancer prevention among women in Kampong Speu Province, Cambodia BMC Cancer. 2018; 18: 294.

. Mwaka, A.D., Orach, C.G.,Were, E.M., Lyratzopoulos, G., Wabinga, H. and Roland, M. (2015). Awareness of cervical cancer risk factors and symptoms: cross‐sectional community survey in post‐conflict northern Uganda. Health Expect.2016 Aug; 19(4): 854–867. doi: 10.1111/hex.12382PMCID: PMC4957614

. Aweke YH, Ayanto SY, Ersado TL (2017) Knowledge, attitude and practice for cervical cancer prevention and control among women of childbearing age in Hossana Town, Hadiya zone, Southern Ethiopia: Community-based cross-sectional study. PLoS ONE 12(7): e0181415.

. Ndejjo, R., Mukama, T., Musabyimana, A., Musode, D., (2016). Uptake of cervical cancer screening and associated factors among women in rural Uganda: A cross sectional study. PLo SONE 11(2):e0149696.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0149696

. Ncube, B., Bey,A., Knight,J., Bessler,P., & Jolly,P.E. (2015). Factors associated with the uptake of cervical cancer screening among women in Portland, Jamaica. North American journal of medical sciences.2015;7 (3)

. Twinomujuni, C., Nuwaha, F., Babirye, J.N. (2015). Understanding the Low Level of Cervical Cancer Screening in Masaka Uganda Using ASE Model: A CommunityBasedSurvey.Plosone.2015;10(6):e0128498.doi:10.1371/journal.Pone.0128498PMID:26030869.

. Lyimo, F.S., Beran, T.N. (2012). Demographic, knowledge, attitudinal, and accessibility factors associated with uptake of cervical cancer screening among women in a rural district of Tanzania: three public policy implications. BMC Public Health.2012;12(1):22.

. Erdenechimeg, E., Nyamkhorol, D., and Oyntogos, L (2010). Report on health seeking behavior with regard to cervical cancer screening in Ulaanbaatar.

. Shiferaw N, Salvador-Davila G, Kassahun K, Brooks MI, Weldegebreal T, Tilahun, Y. (2016). The Single-Visit Approach as a Cervical Cancer Prevention Strategy Among Women With HIV in Ethiopia: Successes and Lessons Learned. Global health, science and practice. 2016. March;4(1):87–98. doi: 10.9745/GHSP-D-15-00325

. Waiswa, A., Nsu-buga, R., Muwasi, M., Kimera, I., Ndika-bona,G., Tusingwire, P.D., Mshilla, M.,Ovuga, E. andAkera,P. (2017). Knowledge and Attitude towards Cervical Cancer Screening among Females Attending out Patient Department in Health Centre IIIs in Oyam District. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 7, 55-62.

. Tapera, R., Manyala, E., Erick, E., Maswabi, T.M., Tumoyagae, T.S., Letsholo, B. and Mbongwe, B. (2017) Knowledge and Attitudes towards Cervical Cancer Screening amongst University of Botswana Female StudentsAsian Pac J Cancer Prev,18 (9), 2445-2450

. Anaman,J. A., Correa‐Velez, I. and King, J. (2016). A survey of cervical screening among refugee and non‐refugee African immigrant women in Brisbane, Australia. Health Promotion Journal of Australia