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Women in Purdah: A Study of their Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices in Relation to Cancer of the Cervix

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Medical Laboratory science, University of Jos, Plateau State, NIGERIA
  • 2Pathology Department, Federal Medical Centre Azare, Bauchi State NIGERIA

Int. Res. J. Biological Sci., Volume 3, Issue (7), Pages 49-53, July,10 (2014)


Correct and complete knowledge, positive attitudes/beliefs and positive behavioral practices are essential in the control of diseases including cervical cancer. This is in addition to routine screening of apparently healthy women. This study therefore seeks to look at the knowledge, attitude/beliefs and practices of women in purdah as it relates to cancer. A cross sectional survey was carried out on 120 sexually active women made up of 60 that practice purdah and 60 that do not practice purdah in Jos, Plateau State, North Central Nigeria. A structured questionnaire was administered on each subject. The questionnaire contained questions on socio-demographic characteristics of the subjects and questions regarding their knowledge, attitude, beliefs and practices as regards cervical cancer. Show that only 11 (18.3%) women in Purdah had previous knowledge of the cause of cervical cancer as against 35(58.3%) for the women who are not in purdah. Women in Purdah had a mean 68.3% positive Attitudes/beliefs as against 77.2% for the women who are not in purdah women who are not in purdah. In terms of their practices, the women in purdah had a mean positive practice of 62.66% as against 76.66% of the women who are not in purdah. There is need for specific and targeted awareness for women in purdah to remove barriers and fill-up gabs to early detection of premalignant lesion. The response from the women who are not in purdah also show that awareness of women in general is very low and could hinder control.


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