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Maternal mortality in Nepal: what role does ethnic diversity play in it?

Juhee V. Suwal, University of Alberta

Nepal is a country with diverse traditional cultures. Nepal is also well-known for its high maternal mortality and for lower life expectancy of women than that of men. This study focuses on maternal mortality and obstetric risk of Nepalese women in different ethnic groups. Obstetric risk was found to vary significantly for major ethnic groups existing in Nepal. With the results on obstetric risk, number of children ever born, age at first marriage, and age at first birth computed from the 1996 DHS data, this paper unravels a deeper understanding of the relationship between cultural practices and their impact on Nepalese women’s health and mortality. A number of policy implications are discussed and some valuable suggestions are provided for the policy planners and the health experts of Nepal. Key Words: Maternal mortality, Nepalese women, ethnic diversity, obstetric risk.

Presented in Poster Session 5: Poster Session 5