An Exploration of Cultural Perception and Communities Behaviour Related to Mortality: a Qualitative Study of Communities in Solo and Pekalongan, Central Java Province

Rachmalina Prasodjo • Yuana Wiryawan • Soewarta Kosen • Megan Jennaway
Journal article Indonesian Journal of Health Ecology • 2016 Indonesia

Abstract

Mortality data and understanding death patterns are considered to be essential for developing evidence-based health policy. This article is a qualitative research, examines current cultural perceptions of death in Indonesia that include a prominent and sensitive belief that emerged at the time of mourning/loss in Solo City and Pekalongan District, Central Java Province. The data collection was done by Focus group discussions (FGDs) with mosque officials, local health workers, local midwives, and staff of the community council, local school teachers, and local business people. Semi-structured interviews (SSIs) are conducted with key informants of bereaved and non-bereaved household. Also observation of the local economy and community activity patterns, modes of subsistence, cultural beliefs. The study revealed thatdeath notification and activities subsequent to a death fall into two parallel domains, the religious and the secular. Beliefs in the afterlife and the imperative of a speedy burial, with all that this implies in terms of treatment and disposal of the corpse, belong to the religious domain. The procedure for obtaining a death certificate occurs in a juridical framework also as the driving force to meet the needs of data on causes of death, acquire legal and financial arrangements associated with the death of household members, for example for inheritance issues. A further issue of interest was the timing of the verbal autopsy (VA). Ideally the VA should occur in the home of the deceased's family within 7-30 days after the death, and be conducted by a health official possibly accompanied by an office-bearing member of the local community. Coordination between all parties involved in the treatment of death is quite feasible.

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Journal

Indonesian Journal of Health Ecology

Jurnal Ekologi Kesehatan (Indonesian Journal of Health Ecology) is a peer-reviewed academic journ... see more