Prevalence of precancerous cervical lesions and the associated determinant factors
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Cervical cancer remains a major public health problem in developing countries .It kills about 270, 000 women every year and more than 85% of these deaths occur in the developing world (1).Estimate of the global prevalence suggests that each year there are 1.4 million cases of clinically recognized cervical cancer and about 3–7 million women worldwide may have high grade dysplasia. (2) In Africa, an estimate of 53,000 women dies of the disease every year.
In Ethiopia, the incidence of cervical cancer is 35.9 per 100,000 women. Nearly 22 million Ethiopian women are over the age of 15 and approximately 7,600 are diagnosed with cervical cancer and roughly 6,081women die of the disease each year.
In addition to the existing socio economic factors, lack of cervical cancer screening programs in developing countries plays a significant part for the inequity. There are no organized or opportunistic screening programs for cervical cancer in any of the high risk sub-Saharan African countries. (1, 2, 3, 4).
Historically, prevention efforts largely focused on Pap smears. In developing countries where there is limited access to cytology laboratory facilities, VIA is considered as alternative early detection method (1)
In Ethiopia, less than 10% of women reported ever having had a pelvic examination and the screening prevalence is less than 1 %.There are very few studies done in Ethiopia concerning cervical cancer (5, 6, 7, 8,12)