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Gustavus Adolphus College

Publication Date

Spring 2015

Program Name

South Africa: Community Health and Social Policy


This project will investigate how diabetics, family members, and community members involved with diabetes relate to the disease and its continued management in a rural area of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Although diabetes is an issue worldwide, it has been largely over-looked in sub-Saharan Africa. This study utilized interviews with diabetics, family members of diabetics, and clinic staff as well as personal observations to reveal the strategies, challenges, and stories of diabetes in this area. Conversations with local health experts verified that diabetes is a major issue in the area of this study. Topics of interest were support structures present; education; hardships with diabetes; diabetes management through medication, diet, and exercise; mode of access to health care; checking blood sugar; the use of traditional medicine; attitudes about diabetes; and the questions raised by the interview subjects. Education and support appeared to be the biggest problems for diabetics in this part of rural Kwa-Zulu Natal.


African Studies | Community-Based Research | Congenital, Hereditary, and Neonatal Diseases and Abnormalities | Diseases | Health and Medical Administration | Medical Education | Medicine and Health Sciences | Place and Environment | Public Health | Public Health Education and Promotion | Rural Sociology


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