Introduction The Lebanese Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has been organising subsidised annual mammography campaigns every October, since 2002, in all participating radiology centers (public and private) in Lebanon.
Methods This paper describes the characteristics of women (from all over Lebanon) attending the 2009 MoPH mammography campaign, explores factors influencing first-time participation, and assesses the campaign's effectiveness. Data from 83 mammography centers on 10 953 women (during October-December 2009) were analysed. The data were collected by the technicians, using a closed-ended structured questionnaire. Analysis revolved on descriptives, bi-variate and multivariate logistic regression.
Results The mean age of women was 49 years. 84.1% of the women were married, 13.6% had some form of university education, and 40.7% were current smokers. 82.9% had ever breast fed, 36.9% were ever users of OCP, and 20.7% were ever users of HRT. 8.9% had an aunt on the mother's side with breast cancer, 8.8% had a sister, and 7.3% had a mother. 68.2% were participating for the first time. 88.8% considered the price acceptable. Television messages and a friend were the most common methods of campaign exposure. Women who participated previously compared to those participating for the first time: were significantly more likely to be older, of higher educational levels, non-smokers, and with a family history of breast cancer.
Conclusion It is essential that governments critically appraise these campaigns in order to enhance outreach, social injustice and equity among the population as well as to ensure better service delivery, capacity and quality.
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