Knowledge of senior secondary school students in Nigeria about Head and Neck Cancer: Implications on prevention strategies

Kehinde Kazeem Kanmodi, Omotayo Francis Fagbule, Mike Eghosa Ogbeide, Kayode Emmanuel Ogunniyi, Taiwo Oyebamiji Isola, Victor Okpe Samuel, Emmanuel Onyemaechi Aliemeke, Habeeb Omoponle Adewuyi

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Background The high prevalence of the risk factors of head and neck cancer (HNC) amongst senior secondary (high) school students in Nigeria is an issue of serious public health concern. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the knowledge of HNC among them. Methods This cross-sectional study surveyed 2,530 senior secondary school students in Nigeria, assessed their knowledge of HNC, using a self-administered questionnaire. Data collected were analyzed using the SPSS version 25 software. Results The mean (±SD) age of the respondents was 16.34 (±2.0) years. More than half (1418; 56.6%) of them were males, 530 (20.9%) were schooling in the north-central geopolitical zone of Nigeria, 1,860 (73.5%) were in public schools, 554 (21.9%) were boarding students, and 817 (33.5%) were in Senior Secondary (SS) 3 class. Only 789 (31.2%) respondents were aware of HNC, out of which: 69.2% of them had below-average scores in their overall assessment on HNC; 256 (32.4%) had ever received education on HNC and 81.2% indicated a positive interest in knowing more about HNC. The factors predicting above-average score on knowledge about HNC among the respondents were: being in SS3 class (OR=1.73; 95% CI=1.17 – 2.56), having been educated about HNC (OR=1.69; 95%CI=1.21 – 2.35) and having the interest to know more about HNC (OR=1.88; 95%CI=1.21 – 2.92). Bivariate analysis showed that these factors had statistically significant association (or relationship) with above-average score on knowledge about HNC (pvalues<0.05). Conclusion Majority of the surveyed students were willing to know more about HNC. The use of a properly planned massive school-based HNC education programs may go a long way in educating this population group on HNC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-169
Number of pages8
JournalMalawi Medical Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding This study was funded by Cephas Health Research Initiative Inc.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Kamuzu University of Health Sciences and the Medical Association of Malawi.


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