Competing discourses of vital registration and personhood : Perspectives from rural South Africa.
Whilst birth and death data derived from civil registration systems are regarded as essential indicators of health status and important for population planning, in developing countries they are usually perceived by civil servants and researchers to be very incomplete.
In South Africa in 1994 only 50% of deaths were registered and 18% of births in the first year of life.
A rapid qualitative study was undertaken in a rural district of South Africa to ascertain why registration levels of births, still-births and infant deaths are so low.
Fifty-five semi-structured interviews were conducted with 22 local Xhosa women and 33 « professional » key informants, ranging from local civil servants to hospital staff and grave diggers.
The study found that local people had complex notions of personhood, before birth and in the years following.
Personhood was viewed as a process rather than a stage which is achieved through live birth, as is implied in discourses of vital registration.
The women interviewed knew about birth registration although most had registered some or none of their children ; they did not know of death registration.
There was little knowledge of why registration was necessary and perceptions of this among all informant groups mostly related to the need for a certificate to achieve something else, such as an identity document or welfare payment.
Confusion about the procedures to be followed was found among both women and professionals, who advised them. (...)
Mots-clés Pascal : Naissance, Mort né, Mort, Enregistrement, Registre, Complétude, Etat sanitaire, Statistique, Attitude, Perception sociale, Connaissance, Homme, Femelle, Démographie, Anthropologie, Milieu rural, République Sud Africaine, Afrique
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Birth, Stillborn, Death, Recording, Register, Completeness, Health status, Statistics, Attitude, Social perception, Knowledge, Human, Female, Demography, Anthropology, Rural environment, South Africa, Africa
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 98-0195600
Code Inist : 002B30A01A1. Création : 11/09/1998.