8 Critical Soc. Pol'y 4 (1988)

handle is hein.journals/critsplcy8 and id is 1 raw text is: 


The Asian Mother and Baby Campaign:
the   construction of ethnic minorities'
health needs

YVETTE ROCHERON



Abstract

This paper discusses the Asian Mother and Baby Campaign, an initiative
In  health promotion which aims to promote better maternity services for
Asian  women.  The Campaign has been sponsored by the DHSS and the
Save  the Childrtn Fund since its launch in Septenber 1984 Wat is under
consideration here Is the medical, social and political background to the
Coipaign.   Now   Ge Campaign relates tosuch issues as the interpretation
ofperinatal morrolty rates&,women's right in obstetric care and ratism in
the NHS  will be erarnined Te avemrargument is that the Campaign, in
its initial eanceptlon and ojecdves, represent an attempt by health
authorities, to create a consensus among health professonals on how to
meet  the health needs ofAsian mothers. ItAiefomist intentions tend to col-
hide,  at de ideological level, with an image of a Black pathology'
afthough they repawa tenuine   atrampt to challenge personal racismt
is this core teion in the Campaign which M be discussed.

The DHSS  and the Save the Children Fund sponsored the Asian Mother and
Baby  Campaign  (AMBC) which was launched by Princess Anne in
September 1984. Its central funding comes to an end in April 1988. The Cam-
paign has been discussed both in the English and in the Asian press, and in
professional health journals. The scheme is seen, by all parties, as a signifi-
cant new development. (I)
  Very few Health Authorities had, until then, been dealing with projects
specifically concerned with the maternity care of ethnic minorities. (2) This
would explain the interest raised by the Campaign, the merits of which were
yet to be demonstrated. Evidence for this view comes from the Select
Parliamentary Committee who  have been  concerned with perinatal and
neonatal mortality. In 1980, the Short Report recommended that health
authorities should make 'positive efforts to seek out pregnant women in the
minority ethnic groups, using every means in their power'. (3) In 1984, in its
follow-up report, (4) it repeated its concern for high perinatal and neonatal
mortality rates among these groups of women and deplored DHSS slowness


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