Home Institution

Washington University in St. Louis

Publication Date

Fall 2019

Program Name

South Africa: Community Health and Social Policy


The purpose of this study is to identify the specific types of injuries children experience growing up in Cato Manor, specifically, KwaMasxha, to understand how community members process and make meaning of their injuries over time, and to analyze the social determinants of health in Cato Manor that have been conducive to these injuries.

In order to learn about experiences of unintentional childhood injuries in Cato Manor, data was collected using a qualitative, narrative-based approach. I conducted interviews with young adult community members aged 19 to 27 years, asking about their personal experiences with childhood injuries as someone who grew up in the Cato Manor community. I also used photography as a method of data collection, focusing on the scars participants have developed as a result of their childhood injuries, as well as injury sites brought up during interview conversations and the general environment of KwaMasxha.

After all the interviews were complete, participant stories were analyzed and presented as either fictional narratives, drawing off participant thoughts and experiences, or were presented in the form of the original conversation between myself and the participant. Through these narratives, commonalities and differences between personal participant experiences of unintentional childhood injuries were explored. It was concluded that the roads are a “hotspot” for injuries in Cato Manor, as they are conducive to pedestrian-vehicle collisions and are riddled with broken glass that children often step on. However, the general consensus among participants was that these experiences are a necessary aspect of growing up in Cato Manor, and thus prevention efforts are often hindered.


African Languages and Societies | African Studies | Emergency Medicine | International and Intercultural Communication | Maternal and Child Health | Pediatrics | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Trauma


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