An assessment of rural women's knowledge, constraints and perceptions on cervical cancer screening: the case of two districts in Zimbabwe

Afr J Reprod Health. 2006 Apr;10(1):91-103.


This paper gives a sociological and anthropological insight into the rural women's perceptions and understanding of cervical symptomatology, screening and cancer. Qualitative data was collected through in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with women and health personnel. Quantitative data was obtained through questionnaires administered to 356 women from Mutoko and Shurugwi districts. The study revealed that cervical cancer is a disease that is of concern among health practitioners and women. 95.78% of the interviewed women had never gone for screening and had little knowledge about the various aspects of the disease in terms of causes, prevention and treatment. The study made four recommendations: the need for national screening policy and programme to be put in place, health education to women about cervical cancer, use of VIA in low resource settings and sensitisation of women about the availability of screening facilities in the districts where programmes are in place.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cultural Characteristics
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Rural Population*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / ethnology
  • Vaginal Smears / statistics & numerical data
  • Women's Health*
  • Zimbabwe / epidemiology