Unifying Social Identity: Community Skilled Birth Attendant

Homebirth is regarded as the gold standard and the premier standard of birth. Community Skilled Birth Attendants (CSBA) received a six-month training in and out of class at skilled birth attendant (SBA) training institutes, approved by the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. The trainees are involved in assisting the safe and clean delivery at home in rural Bangladesh. Many CSBAs are engaged in Government and non-government organizations in relation to providing birth attendant services in rural Bangladesh. The intention of HNPP, BRAC is to increase the number of CSBA in order to achieve MDG 5. The study explored the process of social identification of CSBAs. The notion of social identity has delineated a comprehensive account of social relations in the theory of practice of Pierre Bourdieu. Moreover, social relations explained the process of social identification employing the concept of self-categorization and social categorization. The study employed qualitative methods to explore the mechanisms of internal and social categorization of CSBAs. The findings reveal that CSBAs are known as BRAC health cadres in the community. They are struggling to establish their identity as trained midwives in the community. Despite some challenges of their professions, CSBAs are respected as ‘dactar or nurse apa’ by the villages. Professional training in SBA enables them to generate income and social prestige. TBAs and village doctors create constraints to performing the professional responsibilities of the CSBA in the community. On the other hand, the villagers are still bewildered about the terms as well as the roles and responsibilities of Shasthya Shebika (SS), Newborn Health Workers (NHWs), Shasthya Kormi (SK) and CSBA of HNPP, BRAC. They are confused about whether health providers of BRAC are required to pay for assisting home birth. The villagers also perceive that assisting with homebirth is considered a social norm rather than professional duty. Moreover, the villagers hardly found government service providers in this regard. Therefore, the study has outlined a number of recommendations for strengthening the profession of CSBAs of HNPP in BRAC.

Authors: Khan, Ashrafuzzaman; Kamruzzaman, Md
Type: Working Paper
Year: 2017