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Knowing but not knowing: Providing maternity care in the context of HIV and AIDS in rural Zimbabwe
Uppsala University, Medicinska vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health.
Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-93893OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-93893DiVA: diva2:167527
Available from: 2005-12-22 Created: 2005-12-22Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Whose Knowledge Counts?: A Study of Providers and Users of Antenatal Care in Rural Zimbabwe
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Whose Knowledge Counts?: A Study of Providers and Users of Antenatal Care in Rural Zimbabwe
2005 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis presents perspectives and experiences of different stakeholders and their ways of reasoning around pregnancy and pregnancy care. Data were generated from individual interviews with 25 health care providers, 18 women and 6 traditional birth attendants (TBAs) as well as 11 focus groups discussions with women, men and TBAs.

The challenges experienced by health care providers in their provision of antenatal care, while attempting to change antenatal care through routines proven to have medical value, are highlighted. Changing some long established routines, such as weighing and timing of visits, proved difficult mostly because of resistance from the users of care, whose reasoning and rationale for using care did not correspond with the professional perspectives of care.

Women also combined biomedical and traditional care. The women used the clinic to receive professional care and assurance that the pregnancy was progressing well and used TBAs, who are believed to have supernatural powers, for cultural forms of assurance and protection. The health care staff did not appreciate these aspects and discouraged women using TBAs. Midwives had problems to change routines of care because of their stressful working situations and the expectations of the women.

In addition, they described the paradoxes in providing antenatal care in the context of HIV and AIDS. The caregivers were aware of the magnitude of HIV and AIDS and yet did not have any information on the HIV status of the women they cared for. This also caused fear for occupational transmission. HIV/AIDS is highly stigmatised in this area and women used various strategies to avoid testing.

The study emphasised the need to broaden the conceptualisation and practice of evidence-based care to incorporate different types of evidence and include realities, knowledge and perspectives of not only the beneficiaries but also those implementing change as well as local knowledge. The necessity of reorganising the health care systems to accommodate the new challenges of the HIV/AIDS epidemic is also emphasised.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2005. 56 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 95
International health, Evidence-based care, HIV/AIDS, maternal health, midwifery, nurses, pregnancy, traditional birth attendants, Zimbabwe, Internationell hälsa
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-6251 (URN)91-554-6430-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2006-01-24, Rosén-salen, Akademiska sjukhuset, Ing 95/96, Uppsala, 09:15
Available from: 2005-12-22 Created: 2005-12-22Bibliographically approved

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