Women’s Knowledge of Health Promotion in the Prevention of Breast and Cervical Cancer in Oshakati Health District, Namibia

  •  Saara Suoma Iita    
  •  Agnes Van Dyk    
  •  Wilma Wilkinson    
  •  Olivia N Tuhadeleni    


PURPOSE: The study aimed to explore and describe the knowledge of women regarding health promotion in the prevention of breast and cervical cancer. This study was carried out in the Oshakati district at the Intermediate Hospital Oshakati.

METHODOLOGY: A quantitative approach was used for this study. This approach was chosen in order to provide a comprehensive picture and understanding of the women’s knowledge or awareness of health promotion in the prevention of breast and cervical cancer. The study population consisted of all women of child-bearing age, aged 15 to 49, in the Oshakati health district, that is, 41,985. The research sample was identified as 10% of the study population, thus numbering 419 respondents. The researcher personally distributed 419 questionnaires to every second woman of child-bearing age admitted to the Intermediate Hospital Oshakati.

RESULTS: The findings indicate that awareness of information relating to breast and cervical cancer exists in Oshakati Health District. However, overall knowledge on the causes of breast and cervical cancer, risk factors for breast cancer and warning signs of cervical cancer was very poor. The findings also revealed that while many respondents were informed about breast self-examination (BSE) and had practised it, very few respondents acknowledged clinical breast examination (CBE) attendance once a year, or the use of mammography and sonar attendance as additional screening methods.

RECOMMENDATIONS & CONCLUSION: Based on the findings the study recommends that women should share information with their peers; in addition, radio should be used to disseminate such information as it is the most reliable source of information in the rural areas. Information, education and communication materials on the prevention of breast and cervical cancer should be developed and disseminated to the public. Women should be encouraged to develop a reading culture in order to increase their knowledge.

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