, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 27-35
Date: 24 Oct 2009

West African Immigrant Families from Mauritania and Senegal in Cincinnati: A Cultural Primer on Children’s Health

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Similar to many cities in the US, the Greater Cincinnati area has recently had an increase in immigrants from other countries. In particular, there is a small but growing population of West African immigrants especially from Senegal and Mauritania. In order to better understand children’s health of West African families in the Cincinnati area, in-depth, in-home narrative interviews were conducted with ten West African immigrant parents from Senegal and Mauritania. Four salient themes about cultural information related to children’s health were derived from the qualitative analysis: (1) health care practice and expectations including barriers; (2) cultural values and identity; (3) health beliefs and traditions/customs; and (4) quality of life. It is essential that health care providers understand the nuances of working with West African immigrants including cultural differences, strengths, challenges and perceptions in order to provide these individuals with the most effective health care services.