Factors Associated with efficacy of Healthcare Workers in Prevention and Control of Cervical Cancer in Machakos, Kenya
Cancer of the cervix is one of the leading causes of deaths among women of reproductive age in the world. It is the most common cancer among women in 45 countries, with global reports of more than 500,000 new cases annually for each death from cancer of the cervix. In 2013, the estimated number of new cases and deaths from cervical cancer in China were 100,700 and 26,400, respectively. An estimated 54,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 25,000 women die from the disease each year in Europe. In Kenya cervical cancer is responsible for 25 deaths per 100,000 cases due to lack of awareness; mismanagement and incompetence, late diagnosis as a result of poor attitudes and perceptions; lack of treatment facilities; high cost of treatment; and high poverty indexes among other factors. This notwithstanding, the disease is preventable when detected early and through regular screening as well as administration of cervical cancer vaccine at the right age. Healthcare workers play a central role in the prevention and control of cervical cancer. As such their competence, awareness, attitudes and grasp of the right treatment interventions and technologies is critical in the fight against the disease. Inspired by advances in health information and successes in utilizing the same in western countries to reduce mortality and incidence rates, the goal of this study was to examine factors associated with efficacy of healthcare workers in battling advanced stages of cervical cancer in Machakos County, Kenya. The study adopted a descriptive cross-sectional survey that used quantitative method. The target population comprised of healthcare workers that deal directly with patients susceptible to cervical cancer. Simple random sampling was used to give each element of the target population an equal chance of being selected. The researcher used a questionnaire for data collection because of its effectiveness in eliciting respondent’s feelings, beliefs and experiences. Data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. After the data was summarized, the researcher identified the existing relationships and using inferential statistics made generalizations from the data in view of the study objectives. There was a gap in healthcare workers training and their attitude towards cervical cancer patients was poor. The study concluded that training, awareness, attitudes and perceptions, as well as technology use by healthcare workers were positively and significantly related to prevention and control of cervical cancer. The study recommended that, health facilities should strive to enhance work experience by providing specialized oncology training to their staff, as well as the right technologies to control and prevent cervical cancer. In addition, it is recommended that all hospitals assess healthcare workers’ attitudes regularly to ensure that patient care is not compromised.
Keywords: Competence, cancer awareness, Attitudes of healthcare workers, Technology, Efficiency of healthcare workers and cervical cancer.
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