Cervical cancer is one of the leading causes of death for middle-aged women in the developing world. But it is a preventable disease by using relatively inexpensive technologies to detect abnormal cervical tissue before it progresses to invasive cervical cancer.
In Ethiopia, the incidence of cervical cancer is 35.9 per 100,000 women. There is scarce data on prevalence of precancerous cervical lesions and the determinant factors in Ethiopia.
The main objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of VIA positive precancerous cervical lesion among women attending RGOPD at SPHMMC and to identify the determinant factors.
Hospital- based cross sectional descriptive analytic study was conducted among 226 women visiting RGOPD at SPHMMC. All women aged 30-45 attending RGOPD & willing to give consent were included till the required sample size was attained during the study period.
A total of 224 questionnaires were collected for analysis with response rate of 99.1%. The mean age of the study participants was 35.7 years (SD 4.97). Fifty-four of the participants were found to have VIA positive precancerous cervical lesions making prevalence of VIA positive precancerous lesion 24.1%. Age at marriage and age first sexual intercourse were found to have strong association with risk of precancerous cervical lesion. Early age at birth of first child was found to be negatively associated with risk of having precancerous cervical lesion.
Conclusion and recommendation
The prevalence of VIA positive precancerous cervical lesion is higher than reports of most studies and emphasis should be given on incorporation of cervical cancer screening program into other reproductive health services. Age at marriage and age at first sexual intercourse were factors identified to have strong association with prevalence of precancerous cervical lesion. Promoting delayed onset of sexual activity and delaying the age at marriage are important measures as a primary prevention approach.
Keywords: VIA, cervical cancer