Background and Context: Cervical cancer is a major global health problem, resulting in high mortality yearly. This high incidence is attributed to inadequacy of screening programs as well as lack of awareness of the disease in especially in developing countries. A survey was conducted on the awareness and knowledge on cervical cancer, its risk factors and HPV vaccination in Kenya.
Strategy: A random cross-sectional, mobile phone-based survey was employed. For two weeks, daily posts requesting members of the public to participate were made through the social media platform. Those interested, activated the survey by sending the code “ccv” to the number 0700040030, after which they received the instructions about the survey. They received 10 questions about their age, gender, source of information, causes of cervical cancer, knowledge on HPV vaccination, the age group to be vaccinated, willingness to be vaccinated & recommendation to others. The questions were answered sequentially, with a message of appreciation at the end. Data was collected and analysed using m-surveys DIY platform.
Outcomes: There were 283 respondents, 182 completed the whole survey. 70% were women and 30% men of age group of 17-30 years. Only 28% correctly identified HPV virus association with cervical cancer, as well as associated with poor hygiene, diet, alcohol intake and genetics. Although 55% were aware of the HPV vaccine, 8% could identify the correct target group. 38% obtained information from friends and relatives, 20% from medical personnel and 6% from social media. Despite only 20% having been vaccinated or knowing anyone who had been, a majority were willing to be vaccinated.
Conclusion: There is gross unawareness of cervical cancer among the participants; with most respondents obtaining information from friends and relatives. If substantial impact is to be made, a means of disseminating correct and accurate information to the public should be established.