Objectives: Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer related deaths among women in Ethiopia, however, cervical cancer screening is almost nonexistent. This study provided training and assessed knowledge and clinical skills of cervical cancer screening among medical students at Saint Paul Hospital and Millennium Medical College (SPHMMC) in Ethiopia.
Methods: This study consisted of training on cervical cancer screening and assessment of knowledge and clinical skills of cervical cancer screening using pre and post surveys. Subjects were medical students in years 4(M4), 5(M5) and 6(M6) at SPHMMC. Analysis consisted of calculating survey scores.
Results: Participants (N=28) were 21 males and 7 females. Knowledge assessment median scores were 55.9% pre-training and 75.0% post-training (Wilcoxon signed rank test p=0.001). Baseline experience with speculum examination and Visual Inspection with Acetic acid (VIA) were low. Pre-training, 75% were familiar with “acetowhite epithelium” and its significance versus 95.5% post-training (McNemar’s binomial test p ≤ 0.1). Some level of comfort in identifying aceto-white changes was 52% pre-training and 82% post-training (McNemar’s binomial test p<0.05). Some level of comfort in identifying mosaicism and punctation was 48% pre-training and 70% posttraining (statistically not significant).
Conclusions: There is significant gap in knowledge and limited basic clinical skills of cervical cancer screening among Ethiopian medical students. It is possible to achieve significant improvement in knowledge and clinical skills of cervical cancer screening with short educational intervention. Similar educational intervention should be provided to health care providers in Ethiopia to enhance cervical cancer screening.