BMJ Case Reports 2013; doi:10.1136/bcr-2012-007904

Home deliveries in Chandigarh, the beautiful city of India: a tug of war between culture and science

  1. Amarjeet Singh
  1. Department of Community Medicine, School of Public Health, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kathiresan Jeyashree, jshreek{at}


There have been various commitments made in the international front to reduce maternal mortality ratio, and India has set its target at <100 maternal deaths/100 000 live-births. One of the strategies is to have 80% of the deliveries take place at healthcare institutions. However, health-related behaviour and decision-making is affected by many factors beyond the availability of health services. We report the case of a fourth gravida, belonging to the Sansi tribe, with son-preference in urban northern India, who delivered her fourth female child at home. We attempt to understand beliefs, norms and practices involved in deciding place of delivery in the context of theory of reasoned action and health belief model so that cultural appropriateness can be ensured in healthcare delivery. The study emphasises that there is need for improvement in cultural appropriateness of healthcare services delivered to the community.

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