The current study demonstrated that 60% of the participants had heard about cervical cancer. Previous literature has shown that awareness of cervical cancer was found to be 28% in Cameroon (7), 15% in Nigeria (8), 51% in Kenya (10), and 93% in Ghana (13). The variation might be due to differences in study populations. .A study in Ghana uses study groups were medical students, non-medical undergraduate students, nurses, and senior university staff might have a better understanding of cervical cancer, whereas the current study includes both rural and urban residents, all of them were not health professionals. Subsequently designing appropriate awareness creation mechanisms is crucial to address all women about cervical cancer prevention measures.
In this study, health professionals were used as the main source of information followed by radio or TV. This implies that health professionals have a key role in educating women.
In this study, ten percent of the women were knowledgeable about the capability of being cured of cervical cancer if it is diagnosed early. This knowledge gap might inhibit women from implementing cervical cancer prevention measures. Hence health promotion, education, and communication about cervical cancer prevention measures are important.
This study, the finding indicates that nearly a third quartile or (75%) of the respondents had poor knowledge of cervical cancer prevention measures. In contrast to this finding; recent studies showed that in Mizan Tepi University, Ethiopia nearly 34% (11) and Uganda, 44.6% (9) of the respondents had poor knowledge about cervical cancer. University students might have access to different mass-medias that may increase their awareness level towards cervical cancer prevention measures. The current study was conducted at a community level, including the rural areas. Hence the awareness of these women about cervical cancer is minimal; there is a need to educate women on the early warning signs of cervical cancer as failure to recognize the early symptoms and signs contribute to the late presentation common in Ethiopia.
This implies that, in the absence of proper health education strategy in the health system and at a community level, hence tailored health education strategy should be implemented that can help to improve the knowledge of the respondents towards the symptoms of cervical cancer to take measures early.
Concerning the prevention of cervical cancer participants knew that cervical cancer is prevented by avoiding multiple sexual partners (4.7%), avoiding early sexual intercourse (8%), and quitting smoking (10.5%), vaccination (3%), using a condom (3.3%) while in a study done in Sweden 62% respondents reported that cervical cancer can be prevented by early screening and HPV vaccination (14). This disparity could be related to an early screening and availability of the HPV vaccine and services might be provided in all health care systems in developed nations like Sweden to the population at every facility
The current study indicates that overall 63.8% of the respondents had a positive attitude towards cervical cancer prevention measures; a similar magnitude of attitude (61.24%) is reported from recent studies in Mizan Taipei University, Ethiopia (11). In this study, about 32% of participants agreed to be screened for cervical cancer if the cost is free and has no harm health check-up, hence avoiding barriers will help in increasing the number of women participants for screening. Awareness creation activities regarding cervical cancer at a grass root level are crucial
In this study, women residing in rural areas, not attending formal education, low-income, parity less than 4 were negatively associated with good knowledge of women for cervical cancer. This is possible because women who were living in urban may have access for health workers that can give health education for their clients; in addition to this; women who attend any formal education may have the ability to read different leaflet and other printed materials that are a key source of information about cervical cancer and its prevention measures. Women that have more than four children might have proximity to the health facilities that provide antenatal care may provide counseling services toward cervical cancer and its prevention measure. Integrating all health services with cervical cancer services would enhance awareness among women. Hence awareness creation activities should be accessible for women who reside in rural areas that enhance the knowledge of the women about the disease and prevention measures.
Women who belonged to the lower socioeconomic category were less knowledgeable about cervical cancer prevention compared to those from the high status might have different communication, mass media and this could reflect that the awareness might be increased that could increase the demand to use service-related cervical cancer. Lack of standardized questionnaire to measure the knowledge and attitude of the respondents, this might limit the comparability of the findings in different places.