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Women's health in urban Mali: Social predictors and health itineraries


  • Bove, Riley M.
  • Vala-Haynes, Emily
  • Valeggia, Claudia R.


Social and marital factors may influence women's health outcomes. This is of particular relevance in sub-Saharan Africa, where women's health indicators lag behind the rest of the world. Our study examines the impact of social mediators of women's health during key events (pregnancy and illness) in urban Mali. In this cross-sectional study, we interviewed 324 women aged 15–80, living in Bamako, the capital city, in 1999. We used mixed quantitative and qualitative methods to obtain detailed histories of pregnancy and illness during specific time periods preceding the survey. We examined the role of marital factors (polygyny, widowhood), social factors (sources of support and scales derived for social network and social power), and household wealth on women's therapeutic itineraries. We compared the sociodemographic characteristics of our sample with those of the 2001 Mali Demographic and Health Survey and used their data on contraception to enrich analyses.

Suggested Citation

  • Bove, Riley M. & Vala-Haynes, Emily & Valeggia, Claudia R., 2012. "Women's health in urban Mali: Social predictors and health itineraries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(8), pages 1392-1399.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:75:y:2012:i:8:p:1392-1399
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.06.012

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Bove, Riley & Valeggia, Claudia, 2009. "Polygyny and women's health in sub-Saharan Africa," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 21-29, January.
    8. Patience Aseweh Abor & Gordon Abekah-Nkrumah & Kojo Sakyi & Charles K.D. Adjasi & Joshua Abor, 2011. "The socio-economic determinants of maternal health care utilization in Ghana," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 38(7), pages 628-648, June.
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