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Throughout the Third World, a notable trend has been the proliferation of parallel health care systems in which cosmopolitan medical services coexist with a variety of indigenous health care services. Among the most ubiquitous of such services are those which provide maternal and child health care. Within the domain of maternal and child health services, an increasing number of options are available to client populations, including hospitals, private clinics, missionary health services, indigenous herbalists, diviners, midwives, injection dealers; hence decisions must be made regarding the preferred choice among the existing alternatives. Alternative utilization of maternal and child health services, and in particular, obstetrical services, represents one arena within which to study health care decision-making. Obstetrical care is broadly defined here to encompass prenatal care, delivery assistance and postpartum care, fertility counseling and infant care, and thus refers to a range of widely sought after services.
KeywordsObstetrical Care Rational Choice Theory Indigenous Healer Child Health Service Obstetrical Service
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