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Views of Maternal Depression In Rural Kenya

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Investment and interest in mental health on a global scale is increasing. This interest creates a need to gain an in depth understanding about how mental illness is conceptualized and

Investment and interest in mental health on a global scale is increasing. This interest creates a need to gain an in depth understanding about how mental illness is conceptualized and treated in different cultures. This article aims to explore the views of maternal mental health in Kenya's sub-counties. Maternal mental health has a significant impact on child development outcomes, so the topic has cross-generational importance. Ten focus group discussions with a variety of participants were conducted to understand the health care system. The participants were from four Kenya sub-counties: Rachuonyo N., Wagwe, Okiki Amayo, Nyative and they were either members of either SCHMT (Sub-county health management team), CHEW (community health extension worker), facility/staff of the county hospital, HHCDO (Homa Hills Community Development Organization), THRIVE II staff (Catholic Relief Service's early childhood development program) or mothers and fathers with children under two years of age. The qualitative data were translated and transcribed on site and then retranslated and counterchecked. A secondary data analysis using Atlas.ti was performed to identify themes and trends in factors that contribute to maternal wellbeing. Four main categories were identified as having prevalent effects on the Kenyan mothers' mental health: cultural values, broken support system, limitations of resources, and knowledge, behavior and attitudes. The participants were broken up into administrative, clinical, social, maternal and paternal categories to determine specific influence in each of these areas. Further analysis defined participants' involvement in the categories as mediating, moderating and direct effects on maternal depression. Main contributors to depression were identified as a lack of paternal support, poor cultural values, and administrative resistance. Discussion focuses on consequences for the future.

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  • 2016-12