Tuesday, April 16, 2024

High Burden of Cervical Cancer in Africa: Challenges and Solutions

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Africa carries one of the highest burdens of cervical cancer globally. The alarmingly high incidence and mortality rates could be significantly reduced through a comprehensive approach to its prevention and control, including screening. However, the use of cervical cancer screening services is notably low in most low- and middle-income countries. The main objective of this systematic review is to explore the factors that are preventing women from using these essential services.

The review was carried out using a mixed-method systematic approach. Searches were performed on various databases including PubMed (Medline), EMBASE, CINAHL (EBSCOHOST), and Scopus, for articles published up until May 2019. The search parameters were not limited by time, language, or the design of the study. All the included studies were critically appraised by two independent reviewers using standard quality assessment criteria.

Cervical Cancer

Enhancing Cervical Cancer Screening Accessibility and Awareness Across Africa

Out of 2,365 potential studies, 24 from 11 different countries met the eligibility criteria and were selected for the review. These included eight qualitative studies, 13 quantitative studies, and three that used a mixed-method approach. The review identified the main barriers as poor access to screening services, lack of awareness and knowledge about cervical cancer and screening, and socio-cultural influences. Service providers identified a lack of skills, screening equipment and supplies, and staff shortages as major barriers to the provision of screening services.

The barriers to cervical cancer screening in Africa are complex and multifaceted. They require a comprehensive solution that addresses all the issues concurrently at the health system, individual, interpersonal, community, and structural levels. There is a need for political will, complemented by stakeholder involvement, in the development and implementation of strategies. These strategies should aim to ensure the acceptability, availability, accessibility, and affordability of screening to minimize barriers to accessing the service.

 

Orijinal Article DOI: 10.1186/s12889-024-17842-1

Original title: Barriers to cervical cancer screening in Africa: a systematic review

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