An evaluation of patient and system factors that influences cervical cancer screening at the Ocean Road Cancer Institute, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that grows in the tissue of the cervix, a component of the female reproductive system. It is a progressive, asymptomatic grow but can be detected by a routine PAP Smear test. According to the NCI 12,170 cases had been reported in 2012 of which 4,220 died in the United States. The Human papilomavirus (HPV) is the main cause of cervical cancer. Treatment options includes pap smear testing, HPV DNA testing, the Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid (VIA) and cryotherapy. The later methods are mostly used in low-resource settings in developing countries. 
The health care system in Africa is still struggling in preventing the population from diverse deadly diseases including Cancer. Although Cancer management and prevention methods are being introduced to the continent, many of its countries still have high rate of incidence including Tanzania, an Eastern Africa country with a population of 46.22 millions habitants. Cervical cancer is still the number one form of cancer in the female population of Tanzania with a mortality rate of 34 deaths per 100,000 women per year compared to only nine deaths per 100,000 women per year worldwide. Early detection efforts are not returning full satisfactory results due to factors as social–economic and personal conditions of patients. 
Previous study done by the students from Michigan University reveals that screening clinics have been set up in different region of the country aiming to encourage early screening by ORCI, however there isn’t any significant different in the rate of cancer reported cases. Furthermore, these researches addressed the possibility of social and system-based factors that are playing a role in patient ability to get to the screening sites. 

Specific Aims:
To evaluate the patient and system factors that impacts patients’ ability to access to the screening clinics. To better understand these factors and design a plan of action based on the results that can help address this factors in order to promote early screening and decrease the rate of incidence of cervical cancer among the female population of Tanzania.

Kossi Zotoglo
Kossi Zotoglo Picture