Master's Culminating Experience
In 2016 Public Health - Dayton and Montgomery County declared birth outcomes the number one priority in their Community Health Improvement Plan. To improve the infant mortality rate (IMR), racial disparities must be address and considerations should be given to Dayton’s newest and most vulnerable neighbors. Dayton receives between 200 and 250 refugees each year, 70% of whom are from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. African refugees have higher infant mortally and poorer birth outcomes than native populations in the U.S. Early and regular prenatal care is protective against infant mortality, and African refugees consistently report delayed and infrequent prenatal care. Five categories affect utilization of prenatal services by African refugees; migration factors, cultural factors, treatment and communication factors, socioeconomic and accessibility factors, and social and psychological factors. This paper describes the services that Catholic Social Services (CSS) Refugee Resettlement Agency provides to newly-arrived pregnant refugees and compares these services to published guidelines and best practice models. When compared, CSS provide adequate services to address socioeconomic and accessibility factors through funding provided by the Department of State. While CSS provided some services towards the other four categories, none of them are comprehensive. The acculturation process provides an opportunity for CSS to address migration and cultural factors. But it is through strong community partnerships with local stakeholders that CSS can provide comprehensive services to address all the factors that affect prenatal care utilization in African refugees.
Brown, J. M. (2017). Evaluation of Services Provided to Pregnant African Refugees by Catholic Social Services Refugee Resettlement Agency in Dayton Ohio. Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio.
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