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J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2013 Feb;24(1):233-46. doi: 10.1353/hpu.2013.0029.

Health and prevention among East African women in the U.S.

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  • 1San Diego State University/University of California San Diego, Cancer Center Comprehensive Partnership, San Diego, CA92120, USA. kmurray@projects.sdsu.edu


African-born individuals in the U.S. face significant health challenges, including low utilization of preventive screening services. Using a community-based participatory research framework, we describe preliminary efforts at establishing a collaborative relationship with the East African communities of San Diego, identifying salient community health needs, and developing a framework for disseminating information and addressing identified health gaps. To this end, 40 East African-born women participated in focus groups with the purpose of eliciting community perspectives on U.S. health care services, beliefs about preventive screening, and to garner recommendations for future outreach. Qualitative analyses identified participants' desire to engage in primary prevention techniques that incorporated best practices from their home countries and the U.S., and the need for health education programs to provide information on increasingly prevalent chronic diseases. The findings are discussed in connection with continued community-engaged efforts and the implications for health and resettlement policies to reduce inequities disfavoring resettled refugees.

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