Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program

Claudette Igiraneza's research

Claudette studied obstacles to the early diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer

Identifying patient-related barriers affecting early diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer in sub-Saharan Africa

Breast cancer is a rapidly growing public health concern in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Despite its lower prevalence in SSA compared to developed nations, survival rate continues to be disproportionately lower mainly due to late diagnosis and treatment. Claudette’s dissertation explored patient-related barriers to breast cancer early diagnosis and treatment in SSA. This research entailed a comprehensive literature review of 25 qualitative studies. The review revealed that early diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer in in SSA are shaped by multi-level factors at the individual, interpersonal and community levels. Those factors include inadequate knowledge and awareness of breast cancer, financial and accessibility constraints, and sociocultural beliefs. The research found that there is a need for multi-level policy interventions to enhance early diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer in SSA. Key interventions include regulating traditional medicine, improving breast cancer education, and enhancing affordability and accessibility of breast cancer diagnostic and treatment services. 

The three months of dissertation were among the highlights of my MSc program. The whole process of selecting a topic, researching about it methodologically, and writing about it was incomparable learning opportunity. It felt rewarding researching about a topic that I am profoundly passionate about. 

Claudette Igiraneza

Global Health Policy

  • Rwanda
  • Postgraduate Scholar

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