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Emory Global Health Institute Field Scholars Awards Program

2013 Global Health Institute Field Scholars

Addressing Chronic Disease in Eleuthera, Bahamas: Developing Targeted Educational Interventions in School, Church, and Clinical Settings

Alannah Kittle, Rollins School of Public Health
Meaghan O'Connor, Candler School of Theology/Rollins School of Public Health
Sara Tomaso, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing

2013 fas ncd bahamasBreast cancer is a particulary common disease in the Bahamas, with 300-500 new cases diagnozed each year and an average age of diagnosis of just 42. Past research suggests that Bahamian women are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer because of a genetic predisposition and the increasing Westernization of the Bahamian lifestyle. In Eleuthera specifically, women face the added burden of having to travel to Nassau to receive mammograms. On a low-income, rural island, the additional cost and effort required to obtain annual mammograms, plus a number of cultural barriers, creates an environment where women are not taking care of their breast health as actively as they should.

Over the course of six weeks, this EGHI Field Scholars team partnered with the Community Outreach Coordinator from the One Eluethera Foundation/Cancer Society of Eleuthera to conduct surveys with a total of 180 women representing each settlement on Eleuthera, Spanish Wells, and Harbour Island. Surveys were used to identify gaps in or barriers to breast cancer knowledge. After surveys were administered, the team gave a short presentation that provided information to women about breast cancer, breast health, and the services available to them via the Cancer Society of Eleuthera. The ultimate goal of the project was to provide data that can inform recommendations for the Communuity Outreach Coordinator's work.

You can view a poster of these students' work.

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