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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
3381.0: Monday, December 12, 2005 - 5:24 PM

Abstract #108976

Prevention of non-communicable diseases in an urban setting in South Africa: A community-based participatory action research project

Hazel Bradley, BPharm, MPH, Thandi Puoane, Dr PH, Lungiswa Tsolekile, BSc, and Jabu Zulu. School of Public Health, University of the Western Cape, Private Bag X 17, Bellville, Cape Town, 7535, South Africa, +27 21 959 2630, hbradley@uwc.ac.za

The prevalence of non-communicable diseases, particularly hypertension and diabetes, is increasing significantly in urban black populations in South Africa and is recognised as an emerging public health issue. Community Health Workers (CHWs) in Khayelitsha, an urban township on the perimeter of Cape Town, are involved in a participatory action research (PAR) project to prevent non-communicable diseases. The project aims to identify barriers to healthy lifestyles and to design and implement interventions appropriate for this community. The Triple A Approach adopting both qualitative and quantitative methodologies was used. All CHWs working in two sites in Khayelitsha participated in the project. ASSESSMENT: Interviews with CHWs assessed knowledge, causes, risk factors and prevention of hypertension and diabetes; focus groups explored beliefs and perceptions about risk factors; observations and photographs taken by CHWs identified resources and barriers for promoting health lifestyles in their community. ANALYSIS: There was a lack of knowledge about causes and risk factors for hypertension and diabetes. Economic constraints and cultural beliefs/ practices influenced food choices and cooking methods. Participation in physical activity was affected by cultural perceptions and lack of facilities. ACTION: After feedback of the findings, CHWs requested a training programme in primary prevention of non-communicable diseases. An interactive programme was developed and piloted the local language and English. CHWs are currently developing health clubs in their community, focusing on promoting healthy lifestyles (walking and nutrition). The PAR approach resulted in a clear understanding of the issues and contributed to development of interventions appropriate to this setting.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Participatory Action Research, Community-Based Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Understanding and Mobilizing Communities and Coalitions

The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA