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Cervical cancer screening uptake in women aged between 15 and 64 years in Mozambique

Brandão, Marianaa,b,*; Tulsidás, Satisha,d,*; Damasceno, Albertinoa,c,d,e; Silva-Matos, Carlaf; Carrilho, Carlad,e; Lunet, Nunoa,c

European Journal of Cancer Prevention: July 2019 - Volume 28 - Issue 4 - p 338–343
doi: 10.1097/CEJ.0000000000000459
Research Papers: Gynecological Cancer

Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in Mozambique, reflecting the high prevalence of both human papillomavirus and HIV infections. A national screening program for cervical cancer was started in 2009, using the visual inspection with acetic acid and cryotherapy, targeting women aged 30–55 years. We aimed to estimate the self-reported prevalence and determinants of cervical cancer screening uptake in Mozambique. A cross-sectional study of a representative sample of the women aged 15–64 years (n=1888) was carried out in 2014/2015 following the WHO-Stepwise Approach to Chronic Disease Risk Factor Surveillance. The prevalence of screening uptake using visual inspection with acetic acid or cervical cytology, at least once in a lifetime, was 3.0% [95% confidence interval (CI): 2.2–4.1]; the prevalence was the lowest in the center region (1.4%) and the highest in the capital city of Maputo (11.1%). Among women aged 30–55 years, the prevalence was 3.4% (95% CI: 2.3–5.2) and the factors independently associated with a greater frequency of screening uptake were education (≥8 schooling years vs. none: prevalence ratio=5.57, 95% CI: 1.34–23.16) and use of oral contraceptives (prevalence ratio=2.33, 95% CI: 1.05–5.15). This was the first national Mozambican survey on cervical cancer screening uptake ever carried out and it showed a very low prevalence of screening, even in the more urban and affluent areas. There is an urgent need to raise public awareness of cervical cancer screening and to increase the number of screening units and trained personnel throughout the country.

aEPIUnit–Institute of Public Health

bDepartment of Medical Oncology, Portuguese Institute of Oncology of Porto

cDepartment of Public Health and Forensic Sciences and Medical Education, Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, Portugal

dMaputo Central Hospital, Maputo

eFaculty of Medicine, Eduardo Mondlane University

fDepartment of Non Communicable Diseases, Ministry of Health, Maputo, Mozambique

*Mariana Brandão and Satish Tulsidás contributed equally to the writing of this article.

Correspondence to Nuno Lunet, MPH, PhD, Instituto de Saúde Pública da Universidade do Porto, Rua das Taipas, 135, 4050-600 Porto, Portugal Tel: +351 222 061 820; fax: +351 222 061 821; e-mail:

Received December 21, 2017

Accepted January 28, 2018

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