Adeola Oni-Orisan

Fellowship Recipient
Department: Anthropology
Fellowship Year(s): 2015
Project/Theme Title: Miraculous Motherhood: Pentecostalism, Maternal Mortality, and the Fifth Millennium Development Goal in Southwest Nigeria
Abstracts: The fifth Millennium Development Goal was to reduce the maternal mortality ratio by 75% by 2015. Attempts to reach this goal have fallen short in Nigeria for a variety of reasons, but lack of attention to religion may be an important one. Pentecostalism is Nigeria’s fastest growing religion and plays an important role in reproductive decision-making. Mission homes, run by Pentecostal churches and using prayer rather than biomedicine to assist childbirth, are an example of this that has not been studied. I propose a qualitative study in Ondo, Nigeria, of how Pentecostalism figures into the problem of, and attempted solutions to, maternal mortality. I will study the intersecting systems of church, state, and development aid, focusing on experiences of antenatal care and childbirth in both mission homes and Ondo’s biomedical program called Abiye (“Safe Motherhood”) to show how mission homes shed light on the importance of religion to maternal health.
Fellowship Year(s): 2014
Project/Theme Title: Charismatic Childbirth: Pentecostalism, Maternal Mortality and the Fifth Millennium Development Goal in Southwest Nigeria