‘Not a death of that hospital’: the social production of maternity statistics in Freetown

This paper explores the social practices underlying the production of clinical statistics at Princess Christian Maternity Hospital in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Combining ethnographic and historical methods, it focuses on the contexts surrounding the point at which the raw data (on which country statistics are generated) are entered into the medical record. This focus sheds light on the hidden, elided, or otherwise unseen aspects of clinical practice that global health stakeholders risk missing when privileging statistical data over direct observation. Direct observation reveals not only how specious data comes to be part of the medical record, but why.

Title: ‘Not a death of that hospital’: the social production of maternity statistics in Freetown
Author: Diener, Tara Dosumu
Year: 2018
Periodical: Canadian Journal of African Studies (ISSN 0008-3968)
Volume: 52
Issue: 3
Pages: 311-330
Language: English
Geographic term: Sierra Leone
External link: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00083968.2018.1546603
Abstract: This paper explores the social practices underlying the production of clinical statistics at Princess Christian Maternity Hospital in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Combining ethnographic and historical methods, it focuses on the contexts surrounding the point at which the raw data (on which country statistics are generated) are entered into the medical record. This focus sheds light on the hidden, elided, or otherwise unseen aspects of clinical practice that global health stakeholders risk missing when privileging statistical data over direct observation. Direct observation reveals not only how specious data comes to be part of the medical record, but why.