Mellissa Withers
Student: Mellissa Withers
Internship Year:

I helped to conduct a needs assessment with several components. We began by designing a qualitative study on pregnancy and childbirth to help identify possible causes of high rates of maternal mortality and poor birth outcomes. We decided to focus on traditional beliefs and practices that may be contributing factors to problems in pregnancy and childbirth. I worked directly with the health program manager in conducting three focus groups and interviews with 18 other key informants, including midwives and doctors from the local health center, as well as traditional healers and mothers from the villages. Some of the interviews were conducted in Indonesian, which allowed me to improve my language skills, but most were conducted in the local language (Balinese).