By Denise Allen

An research of the implications because of fertility-related improvement interventions in Tanzania

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Extra info for Managing Motherhood, Managing Risk: Fertility and Danger in West Central Tanzania

Sample text

In his formal reply to Shangali’s inquiry, Dr. 1). 21 In a letter he sent out to all provincial medical of‹cers in 1947, Sneath 30 Managing Motherhood, Managing Risk questions the economic feasibility of providing hospital-based maternity care for every pregnant native woman, citing the ‹nancial costs of resuming its prewar responsibilities of inspecting and ensuring the quality of health care provided in hospitals and clinics throughout the Territory. He accuses the “so-called Maternity and Child Welfare effort” of not being so much concerned with preventive measures such as prenatal, postpartum, and child care as it was with increasing government funding for hospitalbased births and creating a dependence on Western medicine: [Lying-in facilities] have become so popular, that the purposes of ante-natal, post-natal and child welfare have either been lost or have never been incorporated into the program.

Or if we learn that she came from southern Sudan? From an urban setting in postwar Liberia? From a village in Tanzania? Would the causes of her death and thus the solutions to “the problem” be the same? What if we learn that she was actually from rural Kentucky, couldn’t afford medical insurance, and that the “physician undergoing specialist training” was a resident working at the county hospital who had been working nonstop for the past thirty-two hours? Would the de‹nition of the problem and thus the proposed solutions change?

As Appadurai’s work suggests, and as Ginsburg and Rapp (1995) have noted elsewhere, global processes can have an impact on everyday experiences at the local level, affecting how local culture is both produced and contested. These authors’ observations are important to keep in mind Motherhood as a Category of Risk 13 as we explore the cultural context of maternal health risk in Bulangwa. In what ways has the history of social relations in west central Tanzania shaped women’s pregnancy-related experiences in the ethnographic present?

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