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Cervical cancer causes an estimated 266,000 deaths globally, 85% of which occurs in developing countries. It is a preventable disease, if detected and treated early via screen and treat, yet its burden is still huge in Nigeria. In 2012, 21.8% cases and 20.3% deaths due to cervical cancer were recorded in Nigeria. This review, therefore, aims at understanding the determinants of low cervical cancer screening in Nigeria in order to contribute in reducing the burden of the disease. Literature were obtained from Global Health, Popline and PubMed databases; WHO and other relevant websites using Eldis search engine; and from libraries in the University of Leeds and WHO in Geneva. Conceptual framework for analyzing the determinants of cervical cancer screening uptake among Nigerian women was formed by inserting service delivery component of the WHO health system framework into a modified Health Belief Model. Wrong perception of cervical cancer and cervical cancer screening due to low level of knowledge about the disease and inadequate cervical cancer preventive were identified as the major determinants of low cervical cancer screening uptake in Nigeria. Among women, belief in being at risk and/or severity of cervical cancer was low just as belief on benefits of cervical cancer screening, unlike high belief in barriers to screening. Support from the community and screening skills among health-workers were inadequate. Improving uptake of cervical cancer screening will reduce the burden of the disease. Therefore, researchers and other stakeholders interested in prevention of cervical cancer should carry-out studies to identify interventions that could address the key determinants of low cervical cancer screening among Nigerian women.
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