Document Detail

Threats to safe motherhood in Honduran Miskito communities: local perceptions of factors that contribute to maternal mortality.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19560245     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Despite global initiatives to lower rates of maternal death, barriers to safe motherhood persist, particularly in socially and economically marginalized communities. This article describes the risks that women in Honduran Miskito villages encounter during pregnancy and childbirth. Ethnographic data are used to examine emic understandings of the underlying causes of maternal death. Participant observation, four community discussions, individual interviews with 218 women and five midwives, and a maternal mortality survey were conducted during November 2004 through November 2005. Case studies are drawn from the 55 death histories collected during the survey to illustrate the factors that contribute to maternal mortality. Community members identified poverty, gender inequality, witchcraft, and sorcery as major threats to safe motherhood. All of these factors influence women's health-related behaviors; and therefore, each issue deserves attention from public health officials. Designing appropriate interventions to improve maternal health depends on understanding the forces that increase women's vulnerability during pregnancy and childbirth. Local perspectives of risk, even when they diverge from biomedical understandings, point to specific needs, issues to address, and avenues for effective intervention.
Shahna Arps
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2009-06-25
Journal Detail:
Title:  Social science & medicine (1982)     Volume:  69     ISSN:  1873-5347     ISO Abbreviation:  Soc Sci Med     Publication Date:  2009 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-08-07     Completed Date:  2009-10-27     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8303205     Medline TA:  Soc Sci Med     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  579-86     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Anthropology, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858-4353, United States.
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MeSH Terms
Cause of Death
Data Collection
Health Services Accessibility*
Honduras / epidemiology
Interviews as Topic
Maternal Health Services / utilization*
Maternal Mortality / ethnology*
Middle Aged
Patient Acceptance of Health Care / ethnology
Pregnancy Complications / ethnology*,  mortality
Risk Factors
Sex Factors
Social Dominance
Socioeconomic Factors
Young Adult

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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