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Afr J Reprod Health. 2002 Apr;6(1):74-83.

Experiences of mothers with antenatal, delivery and postpartum care in rural Gambia.

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Divisional Health Team, North Bank East and US Peace Corps, The Gambia.


Over the last two decades, the maternal mortality ratio appears to have fallen by up to 50% in the Farafenni, a rural area of The Gambia. This reduction almost certainly reflects improvements in access to essential obstetric services. The ratio, however, is still 50 times higher than in Western and Northern Europe or North America. This paper provides information from a community-based study of 623 women who had recently given birth in the Farafenni area. Information on how, when, and why care was accessed, and what type of care and information were provided were obtained from traditional and western methods of health care were during visits. Women were asked about their experiences during prenatal, delivery and postpartum periods. Results from this study highlight a number of opportunities for improving the quality of maternal health services that could be implemented relatively easily with existing resources.

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