Book about traditional birth attendants in Third World

Marsha Quinlan (C633902@MIZZOU1.MISSOURI.EDU)
Sat, 11 Feb 1995 20:48:51 CST

Attention medical anths. Christel asked that I forward this to anthro-L.
----------------------------Original message----------------------------
I recently found a brandnew and fascinating 1994 doctoral thesis, written
in English, by a Dutch medical anthropologist.

Author's name: Yvonne H. F. Lefeber-Mans Ph.D.
Book title: Midwives without training. Practices and beliefs of traditional
birth attendants in Africa, Asia and Latin America
Publisher: Van Gorcum & Comp. B.V.
P.O. Box 43
9400 AA Assen
ISBN 90-232-2923-1

"Most births in Africa, Asia and Latin America are attended by TBA's. Since
the introduction of the Primary Health Care policy the World Health
Organization has been propagating that TBA's should be engaged in PHC and
trained accordingly. This implies a confrontation of 'Western' obstetrics
with traditional midwifery. Gaining insight into traditional midwifery has
been the main goal of this study. The practices and beliefs of TBA's in
different countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America are compared and
systematically arranged according to the common classifications in 'Western'
obstetrics with reference to the perinatal period. Food taboos and food
recommendations of TBA's, gained from a fieldstudy in Ghana, is given.
Training programmes of TBA's in the three continents are described.
Suggestions for a health policy with reference to the training of TBA's are
presented in final conclusions.
Intended for anyone interested in practices and beliefs of traditional
midwives, especially birth attendants, obstetricians, medical anthropologist."

I read it fascinated, although it is not a 'nice' book... it is a thorough
descriptive study with lots of references to many other authors. It also
gave me some insight in 'my' subject: pelvic examination, as experienced by
both women and health workers in the non-western world.
Christel Terwiel * women's reproductive health consultancy
Zandhofsestraat 6 * conference organizer
3572 GG Utrecht * medical sociologist
Phone office: * (31) 30 769201 / home: *(31) 30 730130