Date Published: April 30, 2019
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Author(s): Abebe Ayinalem Tarekegn, Mezgebu Yitayal Mengistu, Tsega Hagos Mirach, Clement A. Adebamowo.
Cervical cancer is a major public health problem in developing countries like Ethiopia. Cervical cancer screening service has been offered to high-risk groups in Ethiopia since 2013. However, there is no evidence on the willingness to pay for the screening. Therefore, we conducted this study to assess the female health professionals’ willingness to pay for cervical cancer screening at the College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Northwest Ethiopia.
Institutional based cross-sectional study design was used to assess the health professionals’ willingness to pay for the cervical screening from March to April, 2018. Simple random sampling technique was used to select study participants from a list of female health professionals who has been working for the College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar. The data were entered into EpiData version 3.1 and exported to STATA version 14 for analysis. Tobit models were used to identify factors which had statistical significant association with willingness to pay for cervical cancer screening service.
A total of 392 respondents participated in the study with a response rate of 92.7%. The majority (83.4%) of participants were willing to pay for cervical cancer screening. The average amount of money they were willing to pay was ETB 194.7 (US$7.16) per service. Age ≥ 30 years, educational status, perceived seriousness of cervical cancer, perceived quality of cervical cancer screening service and monthly income were significantly associated with willingness to pay for cervical cancer screening.
High proportion of study participants were willing to pay for cervical cancer screening. Therefore, the policy makers can scale-up cervical cancer screening by setting appropriate fee for service charge. They can also raise awareness of cervical cancer and offer quality service in order to increase the benefits of the program.
Cervical cancer is a chronic disease that arises due to the abnormal growth of cells from the lower part of the uterus which projects to the vagina . Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) accounts for more than 99% of all cervical cancer cases . Persistence of HPV infection of the cervix is a necessary cause of cervical cancer. Immune suppression, multiple sexual partners, co-infection with other sexually transmitted agents, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), multiparity, family history of cervical cancer and tobacco smoking are risk factors for persistence of HPV infection of cervix [3–5].
The study showed that 83.4% of the respondents were willing to pay for cervical cancer screening service. We also found that age ≥30 years, possession of a degree, perception of the quality of cervical cancer screening service is high, that cervical cancer is a serious illness and increasing income were associated with the female health professionals willingness to pay for cervical cancer screening service.
The study showed delivering quality service to customers, focusing on raising awareness will further strengthen the demand for cervical cancer screening service. Qualitative study should be done on the benefit of cervical cancer screening program since there is a gap between proportion of cervical cancer screening service utilization and willingness to pay.