Maternal mortality in East Africa


This multidisciplinary investigation into the historical and contemporary context of high maternal mortality ratios (MMRs) focuses on the region surrounding Kisumu, western Kenya. While significant reductions in maternal death were achieved in the middle decades of the twentieth century, in recent decades MMRs across sub-Saharan Africa have stagnated, in contrast to almost every other mortality measure. This project examines the sociocultural factors which affect maternal health, including risk evaluation, healthseeking decision-making, and communication. The research team also includes two anthropologists (Benson Mulemi from the Catholic University of East Africa, and Wenzel Geissler of Oslo University/University of Leeds), and specialist in linguistics (Saudah Namyalo, Makerere University) and theatre for development (Jane Plastow, University of Leeds). Our project collaborates closely with a number of medical institutions and governmental and non-governmental organisations in Kenya.-