Women as Co-Creators of Health: An Ethnographic Study of Measures to Meet Health Needs in Rural India

Student thesis: Bachelor's thesis, at least 15 credits, for the Qualification Level

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  • Fatima Öhman
Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Health as a concept encompasses every aspect of life, not merely our physiological functions. Even so, the global efforts on women’s health, both within the research and aid field, have a history of being reduced to reproductive health alone. The aim of this study was to look at the pre-existing health needs of women in rural India and also to investigate how increased knowledge is used as a tool for creating positive conditions for supporting health in congruence with their needs. The study was conducted using an ethnographic design and the context was an educational Institute for rural and tribal women in Indore, India. The study showed that having no access to education, information or frames of reference, individuals are unable to identify their own health needs and unlikely to question traditional practices or value systems however harmful they might be. Not until fundamental needs are met and skills such as literacy, numeracy and empowerment are implemented is health education likely to have any lasting impact on a population. Previous studies on health literacy have shown the interconnectedness of these individual skills and capacities and the health status of that same population.

Publication dateJan 2014
Number of pages25
Publishing institutionDepartment of Health Sciences