Cosmo City Baseline Survey

Over the past four days a team of twenty community members, led by Project HOPE's Lebo Molete underwent training on how to conduct a community health knowledge survey and screen for risk factors such as blood pressure, weight, and waist circumference.

The team went through a day of training and then surveyed the community for three days. Each morning the team met and we distributed out bags full of survey forms, BP machines, scales and packed lunches! The whole family got up early each morning to make sandwiches!


It was an interesting experience, following on from our survey in Zandspruit which is a neighbouring township where the majority of people live in tin shacks. In Zandspruit there were a lot more people around during the week, as a high percentage of people who live there are unemployed. People were out on the dirt streets, talking with neighbours, wandering around but in Cosmo City the environment was quite different.

Cosmo City developed as a sort of social housing experiment where people from neighbouring townships were relocated into the area. It is designed to offer a mixture of government subsidised housing with low and medium cost traditional housing split up into various extensions, intermixed with schools, a business park and shops. The idea was to develop an economically diverse area for the emerging middle class.

While we were surveying we noticed a stark constrast in attitudes of people living in the different extensions. During the week, the traditional housing sections were virtually empty, with many people having gone to work. The people that were at home tended to be quite suspicious of us, many saying that they didnt want to be surveyed because they had medical insurance. Contrasting this was the government subsidised housing sections which were full of people due to high unemployment who were more than happy to get screened as for them with no health insurance access to medical services is a challenge.

Cosmo City unlike Zandspruit does not have a government clinic servicing its population so they have to travel either to Zandspruit or closer into Johannesburg to get primary care services. This makes it more challenging for people to get regular preventive health check ups.

Project HOPE picked Cosmo City to be part of the HOPE Centre Project because combined with Zandspruit it provides us with a nice socio-economic mix of people enabling us to see in terms of diabetes and other chronic diseases where the burden lies and if ones economic status changes a persons health behaviour.

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Thanks for reading!


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