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Cervical cancer screening prevalence and its correlates in Cameroon: secondary data analysis of the 2018 demographic and health surveys.

Abstract

Background

Cervical cancer, although preventable, is the fourth most common cancer among women globally, and the second most common and deadliest gynaecological cancer in low-and-middle-income countries. Screening is key to the prevention and early detection of the disease for treatment. A few studies estimated the prevalence of cervical cancer screening and its correlates in Cameroon but relied on data that were limited to certain regions of the country. Therefore, this study sought to examine the prevalence and correlates of cervical cancer screening among Cameroonian women using current data that is nationally representative of reproductive-age women.

Methods

We used secondary data from the 2018 Cameroon Demographic and Health Survey. Summary statistics were used for the sample description. We employed the Firth logistic regression using the "firthlogit" command in STATA-14 to perform the bivariate analyses between the outcome variable and each of the explanatory variables. Given that all the explanatory variables were statistically significant correlates, they were all adjusted for in a multivariable analysis. All analyses were performed in STATA version 14.

Results

The proportion of Cameroonian women who have ever screened for cervical cancer continue to remain low at approximately 4%. In the adjusted model, women with the following sociodemographic characteristics have a higher likelihood of undergoing cervical cancer screening: ever undergone HIV screening (AOR = 4.446, 95% CI: 2.475, 7.986), being 24-34 years (AOR = 2.233, 95% CI: 1.606, 3.103) or 35-44 years (AOR = 4.008, 95% CI: 2.840, 5.657) or at least 45 years old (AOR = 5.895, 95% CI: 3.957, 8.784), having attained a post-secondary education (AOR = 1.849, 95% CI: 1.032, 3.315), currently (AOR = 1.551, 95% CI: 1.177, 2.043) or previously married (AOR = 1.572, 95% CI: 1.073, 2.302), dwelling in the richest household (AOR = 4.139, 95% CI: 1.769, 9.682), and residing in an urban area (AOR = 1.403, 95% CI: 1.004,1.960). Except for the North-West region, residing in some five regions, compared to Yaounde, was negatively associated with cervical cancer screening.

Conclusion

Cervical cancer screening programs and policies should target Cameroonian women who are younger, less educated, and those in poor households and rural areas.

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