A critical need in meeting these challenges is having community partners work with women in cities and rural areas around the Palmetto State.
Social worker Tiffany Stewart, a community liaison, said, “When community residents, community-based organizations and institutions that will be affected are involved in initiating and promoting a call to action, then permanent, successful change is more likely to occur.”
One such effort is the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Z-HOPE (Zetas Helping Other People Excel through Mind, Body and Spirit) Program, which is focused on increasing cervical cancer awareness among college students.
Among the findings reported in the journal:
- S.C. women who did not receive a Pap test were more likely to be over age 65, unmarried, have less than a high-school education and be from a non-Hispanic race group, including African Americans.
- Nearly one-fourth of women not receiving a Pap test lacked healthcare coverage and nearly 20 percent were unable to see a healthcare provider because of costs.
- A telephone survey of African-American and white women found that about half of the study’s 1,002 respondents had “high” levels of knowledge about the human papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted infection that has been linked to cervical cancer. However, African-American women knew less about the virus than white women.
- A study of young women, ages 14 – 20, found that about 34 percent would not get the HPV vaccine because of cost.
- A study on the Upstate Witness Project, which addresses breast cancer and cervical cancer among African-American women, found training “witnesses” and lay health advisers to be an effective method to reach women. The program was tested in African-American churches in Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson and Pickens counties.
- A study of Latina women in South Carolina found that very few understood the purpose of the Pap test. Most Latina women sought healthcare for prenatal services.