FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH UTILIZATION OF CERVICAL CANCER SCREENING AMONG WOMEN OF REPRODUCTIVE AGE AT GELEGELE LOCATION, IN BOMET COUNTY, KENYA
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Cervical cancer is a major global public health problem. Cervical cancer is a malignant neoplasm of the cervical area of the uterus in which the cells of the cervix become abnormal and begin to grow uncontrollably. The latest world cancer statistics indicates that cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women globally with over half a million new cases and the second most common in developing countries with over four hundred thousand new cases annually. In Kenya, cervical cancer screening uptake is low with less than 4% of all women reported to have undergone cervical cancer screening. This is due to poor perceptions regarding susceptibility to cervical cancer, the severity of cervical cancers and benefits of having a cervical cancer screening. The purpose of this study was to determine the factors associated with utilization of cervical cancer screening services among women of reproductive age in Gelegele location, Bomet County, Kenya. The objectives of the study was to determine the prevalence of uptake of cervical cancer screening, to determine the level of awareness of cervical cancer screening and to determine factors associated with utilization of cervical cancer screening. The study used cross- sectional study design as it adopted quantitative approach through a structured survey questionnaire. The target population for the study was women of reproductive age. The sample size comprised of 350 women residence of that location. data was collected using structured questionnaires, analyzed in three phases which included both descriptive and inferential statistics and presented using tables. Associated factors were determined by use of logistic regression model using STATA version 13.1and statistical significance determined at p < 0.05. Factors significantly associated with utilization of cervical cancer screening services: Age (OR = 2.87; 95% CI: 0.93-8.49; p < 0.10), high school education (OR = 2.26; 95% CI: 0.89-5.75; p < 0.10), presence of chronic illness (OR = 2.52; 95% CI: 1.02-6.20; p < 0.05), and presence of cervical cancer screening fee (OR = 0.10; 95% CI: 0.02-0.43; p < 0.01). Prevalence of cervical cancer screening was 15.1%. Factors associated with frequency of utilization of cervical cancer screening services were; religious affiliation, marital status, parity, education, presence of chronic illness, distance to the cancer screening facility and charging screening fee. This study generated information that will be used to develop policies to improve the uptake of cervical cancer screening.