Prevalence and determinants of breast self-examination practices among women in their reproductive age in Namibia: an analysis of the 2013 Namibia demographic and Health Survey

Joshua Okyere, Nutifafa Eugene Yaw Dey, Kenneth Owusu Ansah, Sonu Elijah Thywill , Precious A Duodu

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Abstract

Background
In resource-constrained settings like Namibia, breast self-examination (BSE) is considered an important cost-effective intervention that is critical to the early detection of breast cancer, and better prognosis. Even though BSE is a simple, quick, and cost-free procedure, its practice varies across different contexts. Knowing the determinants of BSE is necessary to inform the implementation of policies and targeted interventions to improve the practice across the population. In Namibia, estimating the magnitude of BSE practice and its determinants using nationally representative data has received limited scholarly attention. Hence, the present study sought to examine the prevalence and determinants of BSE practices among women of reproductive age in Namibia.

Methods
This study relied on the 2013 Namibia Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS), analysing data from women aged 15–49 years. Statistical analyses including bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were done using Stata version 14. Adjusted odds ratio (AOR) and confidence interval (CI) are presented. We followed the ‘Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology’ (STROBE) statement.

Results
Only 30.67% of the respondents practiced BSE. The odds of performing BSE were higher among those with health insurance coverage [AOR = 1.59, 95% CI: 1.34, 1.89], those who were separated from their spouses [AOR = 1.36, 95% CI: 1.03, 1.80], those within the richest wealth index [AOR = 1.69, 95% CI: 1.23, 2.33, p ≤ 0.001], and among Catholics [AOR = 0.84, 95% CI: 0.71, 0.98]. Women with secondary [AOR = 2.44, 95% CI:1.78, 3.35, p ≤ 0.001] or higher education [AOR = 3.39, 95%CI:2.24, 5.14] had higher odds of performing BSE. Women aged between 20–49 years had a significantly higher likelihood to practice BSE. Compared to women who live in Khomas, those living in Erongo, Karas, and Omaheke, were more likely to practice BSE than those in Kavango, Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshana, and Oshikoto.

Conclusion
We conclude that the determinants of BSE practice are age, educational level, marital status, health insurance coverage, religion, mobility in the last 12 months, early sexual debut, parity, household wealth index, and region of residence. Any policy or intervention to improve BSE practice among Namibian women of reproductive age must target adolescent girls, those with no formal education, those without health insurance coverage, multiparous women, and those in the poorest wealth index.
Original languageEnglish
Article number30
Number of pages12
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2023

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