Development of a Media Awareness Campaign to Address Barriers to Childhood Cancer Treatment in Tanzania

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2022

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According to Ward et al. 2019, there are 400,000 newly diagnosed pediatric cancer patients each year, with over 85% living in low-and middle-income countries. Even though some pediatric cancer types have more than 90% chance of survival rates in high income countries (HIC), survival outcomes remain significantly lower in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) (Stanley et al., 2017). This study aims to understand the cultural misbeliefs on pediatric cancer by targeting the Swahili speaking communities while developing a media awareness campaign with educational materials in Swahili. The findings from this study will inform the professionals, policy makers, and other key players in pediatric cancer on how to best address the barriers and improve survival rates and have better treatment outcomes. The current study focuses on the design, implementation, and evaluation of a media campaign to increase community awareness about childhood cancer. Media development and evaluation were done with feedback from community members through FGDs. We used qualitative approaches to assess impact of media campaign on community’s knowledge on pediatric cancer. Qualitative data for this analysis were conducted through feedback from FGDs. This study has demonstrated that a media campaign can raise awareness and increase knowledge on pediatric cancer in Tanzania, which is influenced by lack of awareness, late presentation for diagnosis, and treatment incompletion. The study results show that through the development of feasible and impactful strategies, such as an educational poster and a song video, awareness can be raised on pediatric cancer in Swahili speaking communities in Tanzania.

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Abualhaj, Dalia (2022). Development of a Media Awareness Campaign to Address Barriers to Childhood Cancer Treatment in Tanzania. Master's thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/25350.

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