An ethnographic study of night blindness "Ratauni'among women in the terai of Nepal.
Night blindness is the most common ocular condition representing moderate-to-severe vitamin A deficiency in children.
Very little, however, is known about maternal night blindness, which has recently been reported to occur frequently during pregnancy in parts of south-east Asia.
In Nepal, the prevalence of night blindness is reported to be 16%. We carried out an ethnographic study of night blindness during pregnancy in the south-eastern, rural plains of Nepal as preliminary research for a case-control study of the determinants of this condition.
The purpose of the research was to identify local terms and concepts of night blindness and to examine women's perceptions of its causes, symptoms, severity, and consequences during pregnancy.
Data collection involved in-depth interviews, case studies, unstructured observations and structured anthropologic methods, such as free listing and quick sort ranking.
Women considered night blindness to be an important illness of pregnancy, ranking it second (to vaginal bleeding) in perceived severity from a list of 15 « women's illnesses ».
Local terms for night blindness were identified in three different languages from the region.
Informants described a complex ethnomedical model of night blindness that included causes, symptomatology, and treatment alternatives.
However, there was no perceived link between food intake and the occurrence of night blindness. (...)
Mots-clés Pascal : Héméralopie, Gestation, Répartition géographique, Zone rurale, Entretien, Anthropologie, Homme, Femelle, Perception sociale, Népal, Asie, Oeil pathologie, Trouble vision
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Night blindness, Pregnancy, Geographic distribution, Rural area, Interview, Anthropology, Human, Female, Social perception, Nepal, Asia, Eye disease, Vision disorder
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 98-0163556
Code Inist : 002B09K. Création : 21/07/1998.