Differentials between SC/ST/NT, OBC and General Men about Awareness of STIs and Cervical Cancer in Urban Slums of Mumbai
Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers among women in developing countries. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) estimated around 1,34,400 new cases and 72,825 deaths due to cervical cancer in India. If men are brought into a wide range of awareness about STIs and cervical cancer, better outcomes are expected in prevention of STIs and cervical cancer. The objective of the study is to investigate differentials among men belong to Scheduled Caste (SC) / Scheduled Tribe (ST) /Nomadic Tribe (NT), OBC and General category about awareness of STIs and Cervical Cancer.
Baseline data of men was drawn from an intervention study entitled “Enhancing knowledge and promoting health seeking behaviour of couples on sexually transmitted infections and cervical cancer in urban slums of Mumbai”. The study was conducted in collaboration with Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM). The data was collected from 1958 men through a semi-structured interview schedule from two urban slums of Mumbai randomly. Information was collected on socio-economic and demographic characters, awareness and symptoms of STIs and cervical cancer, and health seeking behaviour. The category-wise distribution of sample was 364 were belong to SC/ST/NT, 328 were from OBC and 1266 were from General category.
Results indicate that over all 8.5 percent of men were aware of cervical cancer whereas only 0.3 percent were aware of pap smear test. Significant difference was observed between SC/ST/NT, OBC and General category with respect to education, income, occupation, awareness of symptoms like pain during intercourse and itching/redness in/around genital area, wife’s experiencing abnormal discharge and/ or abnormal vaginal bleeding, whereas no significant difference was observed in awareness about cancer, cervical cancer and Pap smear test.
Study concludes that there is a need to increase awareness regarding STI symptoms, cervical cancer and Pap smear test for early detection of cervical cancer as well as promoting better health seeking behaviour with respect to cervical cancer and STIs. Programmes need to focus on general population rather than specific categories in a metropolitan city like Mumbai as population in urban slums of Mumbai is ethnically mixed in nature.
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