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Davidson College

Publication Date

Fall 2018

Program Name

South Africa: Community Health and Social Policy


The incidence of cancer continues to increase in South Africa, creating a serious concern for public health. There are currently several cancer awareness programs operating in the Durban area, but little is known as to whether they are having a positive impact on communities. This project aimed to understand the knowledge and practices regarding cancer screening and prevention in Cato Manor, KwaZulu-Natal. In doing so, it assessed the effectiveness and knowledge of current programs which work to increase cancer awareness.

This study used a mixed methodology approach. Surveys were given to 30 residents of Cato Manor to gain a quantitative understanding of cancer knowledge and screening practices in the community. Focus group discussions and one-on-one interviews were then conducted with survey respondents to gain a deeper, more qualitative understanding of lived experiences and the relationship between cancer knowledge and practices.

In general, cancer awareness programs were not commonly recognized among respondents and screening exam use was not common. Many people still believe cancer is not a problem for the community, but the vast majority claimed they worry about cancer. Programs and policy must be created to increase use of screening exams and move cancer awareness programs into townships like Cato Manor.


African Studies | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Public Health Education and Promotion


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