Cervical cancer screening: Barriers to access and potential solutions for Nigeria

Christie Divine Akwaowo, Tazio Vanni

Abstract


In developed countries, giant strides have been made in reducing mortality due to cervical cancer. The success recorded has been largely attributed to effective screening programmes. In contrast, the burden and mortality due to this disease is rising in developing countries. Access to screening services remains a major challenge for the majority of the population at risk. This paper reviews the current demand-side barriers to cervical cancer screening inNigeriaand identifies potential solutions. Using academic databases and grey literature, a review was carried out to identify current screening modalities, barriers to access, and potential solutions. The current innovative method for control is early detection and treatment using “See and Treat” which involves visual inspection of the cervix with acetic acid (VIA) and cryotherapy. Lack of awareness, cost, and availability were identified as major barriers to access. Potential solutions feasible in the Nigerian context were categorized as financial and non-financial. The potential financial interventions include voucher schemes, conditional cash transfers, health equity, community loan funds, and prepayment mechanisms. Potential non-financial interventions that would be useful include raising awareness via health education and counseling, community participation, community based interventions, and pre-payment mechanisms.


Keywords


cervical cancer, cancer screening; demand -developing countries; access

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ISSN: 2357-9730 

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