PREMAND uses social autopsy and spatial visualization to foster locally relevant solutions for maternal and neonatal deaths and near-misses in rural northern Ghana.
What is a verbal autopsy?
In Ghana, without the resources to conduct clinical autopsies, in order to determine an individual’s cause of death, health officals conduct verbal autopsies, talking to the family and friends of the deceased to understand what led to an individual’s death.
From these verbal autopsies the clinical cause of death can often be determined. Mother’s in Ghana tend to by dying from hemorrhage, sepsis, hypertensive disorder, obstructed labor, and complications from abortions, while newborns are dying from sepsis, birth asphyxia, and complications from prematurity.
The real question is why are these deaths occuring?
Social autopsy seeks to identify and social and cultural factors that influence illness, illness recognition, and care seeking behaviors thereby influencing outcomes. In identifying the root causes of illness, the goal is to target these factors, preventing future negative health outcomes from occuring.