Book Brief: Global Case Studies in Maternal and Child Health

Ruth C. White
Jones & Bartlett (December 2012)
ISBN 9780763781538
342 pages

Global Case Studies in Maternal and Child Health brings into focus the ongoing issues that complicate the field of maternal and child health (MCH). As the author points out, two Millennium Development Goals specify the need to focus on MCH, and a number of other human rights issues, including gender equality and health concerns, critically intersect with MCH.

Collecting 16 case studies on maternal health, medical care, and community support centers from communities around the world, White aims to present a book that demonstrates the real life application of theories and concepts around MCH interventions. These case studies are each written by contributors who have worked closely with their community-based programs and provide experienced points of view on providing sanitary services and programs, integrating childbearing practices in rural areas, and enhancing outcomes for at-risk mothers. The topics range from traditional birthing methods and the roles of NGOs in integrating modern techniques to the impact of war on maternal care, support groups for vulnerable MCH populations, and the culture of maternity.

The succinct accounts provide an organized snapshot into the world of MCH and each case study is supplemented by a series of discussion questions to encourage further engagement with the material. White draws several conclusions from the case studies and points out that MCH issues are complex and rooted in community. She writes that the book is meant to reflect the complexities of the “theoretical and conceptual issues discussed … through the analysis of lived stories of maternal and child health programs around the world.” After all, here is no “one-size-fits-all” solution and problems cannot be solved by simply throwing money at these communities. This book provides a helpful introduction to concerns dominating MCH and the different strategies needed to make headway on the problem.