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Establishing Baseline Cervical Cancer Screening Coverage - India, 2015-2016
Authors: Van Dyne EA, Hallowell BD, Saraiya M, Senkomago V, Patel SA, Agrawal S, Ghosh A, Saraf D, Mehrotra R, and Dhillon PK
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), 68(1): 14-19; DOI: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6801a4
Topic(s): Women's health
Country: Asia
Published: JAN 2019
Abstract: Cervical cancer is the second leading cause of new cancer cases and cancer-related deaths among women in India, with an estimated 96,922 new cases and 60,078 deaths each year.* Despite the availability of effective low-cost screening options in India, limited access to screening and treatment services, diagnosis at a later stage, and low investment in health care infrastructure all contribute to the high number of deaths (1). In 2016 the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of India recommended cervical cancer screening using visual inspection with acetic acid every 5 years for women aged 30-65 years (per World Health Organization [WHO] guidelines) (2,3). To establish a baseline for cervical cancer screening coverage, survey data were analyzed to estimate the percentage of women aged 30-49 years who had ever been screened for cervical cancer (defined as ever having had a cervix examination). Cervical cancer screening was estimated using data from the Fourth National Family Health Survey† (NFHS-4), a nationally representative survey conducted at the district level during 2015-2016, which included 699,686 Indian women aged 15-49 years. Lifetime cervical cancer screening prevalence was low (29.8%) and varied by geographic region, ranging from 10.0% in the Northeast Region to 45.2% in the Western Region. Prevalence of screening was higher among women with higher levels of education and household wealth, those who had ever been married, and urban residents. This screening prevalence can be used as a baseline indicator for cervical cancer screening in India in accordance with the WHO Noncommunicable Diseases Global Monitoring Framework during state-based programmatic rollout and program evaluation (4).