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Accepted Paper:

"…we are opening a wound.. so that we can learn.. we hope this never happens again": Pre-packaging hope in the prevention of maternal and perinatal deaths in Kenya  
Mary Mbuo (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM))

Paper short abstract:

Understanding why a woman or newborn died during the pregnancy journey is a crucial first step towards preventing similar deaths. This study explores how a discourse of hope is used to mobilize community members and health providers to participate in knowledge production to prevent future deaths.

Paper long abstract:

Background: Understanding exactly why a woman or new-born died during the pregnancy journey is a crucial first step towards preventing similar deaths. Maternal and perinatal death surveillance and response (MPDSR) is a global strategy that aims to reduce preventable maternal and perinatal mortality by involving stakeholders in the process of identifying the deaths, understanding why they occurred, and acting to prevent similar deaths in the future.

Community participation is theorized to be transformative for individuals and groups with expectations of improving health through collaborative learning. Participation in MPDSR is an emotive process for both bereaved family members and health providers. Yet, bereaved family members are invited to participatory spaces with health providers to review the past, overcome emotional barriers and learn so that they can prevent future mortality.

Aim: to explore strategies that are used for managing emotions as health providers and community members produce knowledge for preventing maternal and perinatal deaths.

Methods: This qualitative study explores the experiences of community members and health providers as they engage in MPDSR in Kenya.

Findings: A discourse of hope is used throughout the participation process. Hope has notions of giving agency to participants to overcome emotional barriers and learn from their lived experiences. Social structural barriers associated with power and knowledge production are negotiated and contested in the participatory process "where emotional wounds are opened... people just talk.... but nothing happens".

Conclusions: Vocabularies of hope are used to mobilize participants into participatory spaces for the prevention of future maternal and perinatal deaths.

Panel P176b
Grassroots Responses to Healthcare Crisis [MAYS Network]
  Session 1 Tuesday 26 July, 2022, -