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Health cosmopolitanism: melding universality and difference – the case of childbirth in post-conflict Timor Leste

Lane, Karen 2014, Health cosmopolitanism: melding universality and difference – the case of childbirth in post-conflict Timor Leste, in TASA 2014 : Challenging identities, institutions and communities : Proceedings of The Australian Sociological Association Conference, Sociological Association of Australia, Hawthorn, Vic, pp. 1-14.

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Title Health cosmopolitanism: melding universality and difference – the case of childbirth in post-conflict Timor Leste
Author(s) Lane, Karen
Conference name Australian Sociological Association. Conference (2014 : Adeliade, South Australia)
Conference location Adelaide, South Australia
Conference dates 22-27 Nov, 2014
Title of proceedings TASA 2014 : Challenging identities, institutions and communities : Proceedings of The Australian Sociological Association Conference
Editor(s) [Unknown]
Publication date 2014
Conference series The Australian Sociological Association Conference
Start page 1
End page 14
Total pages 14
Publisher Sociological Association of Australia
Place of publication Hawthorn, Vic
Summary ABSTRACTThis study will consider the case of TBAs (traditional birth attendants) under the health cosmopolitan banner. Fifteen interviews with health administrators, obstetricians, midwives, traditional birth attendants and women in Timor Leste, provide evidence : (1) that the WHO (1992) directive to dismiss the inclusion of TBAs within the formal maternity care system has been precipitous (2) that TBAs could, with adequate training in emergency obstetric techniques and hygienic practices, assist in meeting MDG No 5, and (3) that TBAs may assist in sustaining hybrid cosmologies and serving other cultural aims. Although Millennium Development Goals embrace the idea of the universal right to health, a human rights framework remains abstract and legalistic. I argue that health cosmopolitanism offers a more inclusive lens. Applied to maternity care it shifts childbirth to a central focus of government policy, obliges all nations to contribute international aid yet recognises the interpretation of complex needs at the local level. It defines a philosophy of care that is person-centred (not professional or institution-centred), ensures equal access to quality care (based not on ability to pay or other obstacles such as geographical distance) and choice of carer and modality (Western, traditional or hybrid). It underlines the argument here that TBAs trained in emergency obstetric care and hygiene and funded by international agencies would ensure every woman has a known carer, plus choice of location, modality and provider. Health cosmopolitanism thus embraces universality, individual autonomy, reciprocal respect and global responsibility.
Language eng
Field of Research 160801 Applied Sociology, Program Evaluation and Social Impact Assessment
Socio Economic Objective 920412 Preventive Medicine
HERDC Research category E1 Full written paper - refereed
Copyright notice ©2014, The Sociological Association of Australia
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30069566

Document type: Conference Paper
Collections: School of Humanities and Social Sciences
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