E-poster Presentation 2014 World Cancer Congress

A novel and sustainable approach to educate the public on cancer awareness in Dominica: A unique Ross initiative (#828)

Kamalendu Malaker 1 , Gerald Grell 1 , Rosana Emmanuel 1
  1. Community Medicine, Ross University School of Medicine, Portsmouth, Dominica


Health education is pivotal in health care (1).  Cancer is the biggest killer of human. Public education must be the highest priority (2). In spite of organized health education, no plan exists for sustainability. RUSM – Oncology Society , under direction, adopted a novel approach to educate and develop a method of sustainability, initiating high school students and then the community.


Sustainable communicty education for prevention and early detection of cancer.


 The 5th Grade students leave school , for university education. In Dominica,after completing high school, they are respected members of the community. A group of 5-6 Ross Students, delivered a seminar on “Cancer prevention and early detection” to school leavers. Impact is assessed in a pre and post- questionnaire.  In the 2nd phase, volunteer scholars 5-6 are given the same materials and trained by Ross students to address their community. As presenters will remain a part of the community, the information will be sustained. The attending community member’s impact on the presentation is assessed by pre- and post – questionnaire.


 In 10 higher secondary Schools in Dominica, 875  school leavers have been educated. The impact has been analyzed by sex (they are all 17-18 yrs), urban, semi urban and rural schools. Impact on communities was also assessed by sex, age, education, job, and urban, sub-urban and rural communities. The impact on students has been positive in almost all 12 points, so as on the community. However, the community gave a high value for children from their home, educating them on some important health issues. Details of these analysis will be presented.


The impact of this novel way to educate communities on important health issues has been positive, sustainable and can be done effectively at a very low cost. It may be followed elsewhere.

  1. Health literacy as a public health goal; A challenge for contemporary education and communication strategies into the 21st century: Don Nut Beam; Health promotion International; 15(3); Oxn Univ. Press (2000): 259-267.
  2. WHO: Health education; 2012 (Geneva), www.who.int/topics/health_education
  3. Making public health program last - conceptualizing sustainability; L. Potuin, Jean-Lovis Denis; Evaluation & Progress planning; 27(2); 2004; 121-133.