Nevin Manimala Statistics

Grounding the Work of Grassroots MCH Leaders in Storytelling

Health Promot Pract. 2023 Jan 23:15248399221151175. doi: 10.1177/15248399221151175. Online ahead of print.


Our Grassroots Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Initiative works to build the capacity of individuals and organizations in zip codes with persistently high infant mortality rates to bring about systems change that will improve maternal and child health (MCH) outcomes. Foundational to the Initiative is the training and mentoring of local women to become Grassroots MCH Leaders. We greatly honor that these women possess community expertise, essential to the Initiative’s success. Our training equips them with strategies they can use to bring about changes in social, economic, political, and/or cultural systems that underlie poor birth outcomes. One impactful strategy they learn is the use of critical narrative intervention (CNI). This approach, grounded in the crafting and sharing of stories, complements statistical, behavioral, and medical approaches to improve MCH outcomes. This article describes the impact of CNI within the Grassroots MCH Initiative. Drawing from 14 Grassroots MCH Leaders’ narratives, we present five significant maternal traumas and influential supports in their surrounding contexts. We explore the leaders’ reflections on the impact of story development and dissemination. Our findings reveal that situating CNI within the context of a grassroots initiative provides opportunities for leaders to use their stories to advocate for systems change. Personal MCH narratives provide a powerful and respectful approach to public health promotion, as they highlight important systems-level failures that need to be addressed to sustainability improve MCH outcomes.

PMID:36688357 | DOI:10.1177/15248399221151175

By Nevin Manimala

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