SURF

Deborah Owen

Poverty and Maternal Health in Piura, Peru: A Community Study

Women in Peru have one of the highest chances of dying from childbirth in all Latin America. Maternal mortality is devastating at both the familial level and the national level, as it is an indicator of health and development. Research on maternal health in Peru focuses on either rural areas or the Lima metropolis. This binary does not provide a complete understanding of the complexities of maternal health within the nation. Therefore, this study will examine maternal health in Piura, a small city with considerable poverty. I will document how women utilize or do not utilize different maternal health resources during their pregnancy, and why. Participant observation of government, religious, and private maternal care services will be combined with interviews of community members in order to provide an understanding of maternal health in Piura.

Message to Sponsor

I am so incredibly greatful and excited for this special opportunity. I first went to Piura last year as a volunteer. I was absolutely overwhelmed by the poverty that I saw while visiting families in the large squatter area around the city. Here in Piura even basic necessities such as food, water, and shelter go unmet. What I saw truly changed the course of my life, as I feel compelled to use my skills towards addressing international poverty. This grant is giving me the chance to explore how I can apply what I have learned at Berkeley to the problems of the real world. Thank you to my family for their support, especially for encouraging me to face intimidating chalenges along the way.
  • Major: Sociology
  • Mentor: Martin Sanchez-Jankowski, Sociology