Communities in low-income countries are characterized by limited access to cancer prevention and early detection services, even for the commonest types of cancer. Limited resources for cancer control are one of the contributors to cancer health disparities. We explored the feasibility and benefit of conducting outreaches in partnership with local communities using the “asset-based community development (ABCD)” model.
We analyzed the quarterly Uganda cancer institute (UCI) community outreach cancer health education and screening output reported secondary data without individual identifiers from July 2016 to June 2019 to compare the UCI-hospital-based and community outreach cancer awareness and screening services based on the ABCD model.
From July 2016 to June 2019, we worked with 107 local partners and conducted 151 outreaches. Of the total number of people who attended cancer health education sessions, 201 568 (77.9%) were reached through outreaches. Ninety-two (95%) cancer awareness TVs and radio talk-shows conducted were sponsored by local partners. Of the total people screened; 22 795 (63.0%) cervical, 22 014 (64.4%) breast, and 4904 (38.7%) prostate screening were reached through community outreach model. The screen-positive rates were higher in hospital-based screening except for Prostate screening; cervical, 8.8%, breast, 8.4%, prostate, 7.1% than in outreaches; cervical, 3.2%, breast, 2.2%, prostate, 8.2%. Of the screened positive clients who were eligible for precancer treatment like cryotherapy for treatment of precervical cancer lesions, thousands-folds monetary value and productive life saved relative to the market cost of cancer treatment and survival rate in Uganda. When the total number of clients screened for cervical, breast, and prostate cancer are subjected to the incremental cost of specific screening, a greater portion (98.7%) of the outreach cost was absorbed through community partnership.
Outreaching and working in collaboration with communities as partners through asset-based community development model are feasible and help in cost-sharing and leverage for scarce resources to promote primary prevention and early detection of cancer. This could contribute to bridging the cancer health disparities in the target populations.

© 2020 The Authors. Cancer Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.