Unseen features of society create hidden health complications : An exemplification of how socio-cultural environments may impact pregnant women’s health. A case-study from Aira Woreda, Ethiopia
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Our understanding of our reality is shaped by our worldviews and the influences from a more intertwined world trough globalization. These forces influence each other as they simultaneously are important invisible dynamics that affect our everyday decisions, priorities and actions. I call these dynamics socio-cultural environments. The goal of this study is to provide a deeper understanding of how social-cultural environments may have an impact on pregnant women’s health in Aira Woreda, Ethiopia. A qualitative study consisting of a sixweek fieldwork including observations, interviews of 15 pregnant woman, health personal, governmental offices and regular people was conducted in Aira to gather primary data. Infrastructures such as roads, ambulances and communication technologies are more established today than before. Hospitals, clinics, health centres and health posts, supplied with medical health personnel, are present. Education is given at schools and health facilities. There have been both governmental and non-governmental, and international and national developmental work related to health campaigns, health promotion and/or health education regarding maternal health. However, many initiatives have not been successfully implemented. This is, partly, due to that the prominent aspects of socio-cultural environments many times have been overlooked. This thesis gives examples on how socio-cultural environments and its cognitive, affective and evaluative dimensions may affect pregnant women’s health seeking behaviours in Aira Woreda. A major conclusion of this study is that gender roles, religion and education have proven to be fundamental aspects in understanding how socio-cultural environments leads decisions and actions of pregnant women in Aira Woreda.
Master's thesis in global studies. VID Specialized University, Stavanger, May 2018