Role of Print and Audiovisual Media in Cervical Cancer Prevention in Bangladesh

  • Nessa, Ashrafun (Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University) ;
  • Hussain, Muhammad Anwar (Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University) ;
  • Ur Rashid, Mohammad Harun (Directorate General of Health Services) ;
  • Akhter, Nargis (Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University) ;
  • Roy, Joya Shree (Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Dhaka Medical College Hospital) ;
  • Afroz, Romena (Colposcopy clinic, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University)
  • Published : 2013.05.30


Background: Visual inspection of cervix with acetic acid (VIA) is offered at 252 centers in 64 districts of Bangladesh. VIA+ve women are managed at colposcopy clinics of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) and 14 Medical College Hospitals (MCHs). This research work has been supported by 'UICC Cancer Prevention Campaign' programme. Objectives: This study explored the role of print materials and electronic media to improve cervical cancer screening in the present socio-cultural context of Bangladesh. Methods: This study was performed from January to August 2011 at two upazilas of Bangladesh (Singair with screening facility and Sonargaon without screening facility). Data were collected by focus group discussion (FGD) with women, husbands and community people before and after intervention. Information on cervical cancer screening and VIA camps was disseminated using advertisement through local cable line of the television, microphone announcement, service providers and leaflet throughout the week prior to a VIA camp. Three-day VIA camps were organized at the upazila health complex (UHC) of both upazilas. Quantitative data was gathered from women at the camps on source of information on VIA and the best method of awareness creation. Results: The population was aware of "cancer" and a notable number knew about cervical cancer. Baseline awareness on prevention and VIA was low and it was negligible where screening services were unavailable. Awareness was increased fourfold in both upazilas after interventions and half of the women and the majority of the community people became aware of screening and available facilities. Cable line advertisement (25.5%), microphone announcement (21.4%), and discussion sessions (20.4%) were effective for awareness creation on VIA. Television was mentioned as the best method (37.4%) of awareness creation. Conclusion: Television should be used for nation-wide awareness creation. For local awareness creation, cable line advertisement, microphone announcements and health education at Uthan Baithaks/ EPI sessions can easily be adopted by the government.


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