Cervical cancer is the second commonest female cancer in Sri Lanka. Two major drawbacks of the present cervical cancer screening programme are the suboptimal sensitivity of the pap smear and the low coverage. The objective of the study is to determine the feasibility of a new HPV/DNA test among 35 -years -old ever-married women in a district of Sri Lanka.
A community based descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted from 1stof July 2018 to 30th November 2018 in the public health divisions called Medical Officer of Health (MOH) areas of Kalutara district. The study population is comprised of ever-married women 35 years of age. Three women from each cluster (n = 413) were selected by consecutive sampling. A total of 918 women were recruited. HPV/DNA cervical specimen collection (n = 822) was carried out. Cervical specimens were tested by two cytoscreeners with the cobas 4800 PCR based screening machine. Clients’ perceptions and prevalence were assessed. The follow-up of women with positive HPV/DNA screening results was carried out. The operational and technical feasibility of the screening test were assessed. Data entry was done by using the statistical package IBM SPSS version 20.
Overall response rate was 91.1% (n = 836). Clients’ perception was highly positive for HPV/DNA screening test procedure (99.9%, n = 821) and 99.6% (n = 819) of clients had mentioned that the HPV/DNA screening test is worthwhile to be incorporated into the National Cervical Cancer Screening program. The prevalence of HPV was 6.2% (95%CI: 6.18–6.22%). The coverage of the HPV/DNA screening was 89.5%(n = 822). Invalid results reported were 0.12% (n = 1). The percentage of HPV/DNA test positive women who underwent pap test within 3 months of the initial screening was 100% (n = 51), while the percentage of women who attempted to get a colposcopy within the 1 month of referral was 86.7% (n = 13).
HPV/DNA test implementation as a primary cervical cancer screening method is feasible among the 35- year age cohort of ever- married women in Kalutara district. It is necessary to further attempt alternative methods of cobas 4800 HPV/DNA test, which would be much suitable for resource-limited settings.