Tackling Maternal Health Inequalities in Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Communities
Friends, Families and Travellers and Roma Support Group, fellow members of the VCSE Health & Wellbeing Alliance have published their latest report, Tackling Maternal Health Inequalities in Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Communities.
The report offers insights into the experiences of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities relating to maternity care, with a view to improve knowledge and understanding of how to approach the planning and provision of maternity services for these groups.
Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities face stark inequalities in maternal health outcomes, associated with major barriers to accessing care services, among other factors. Some of the barriers include:
- Lack of effective communication and accessible information in health services;
- Discrimination, both direct and structural, within public services in healthcare and beyond;
- Lack of awareness, sensitivity and accommodation of cultural norms, such as those relating to maternity care.
The impact of structural and institutional barriers on the maternal outcomes of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities results in:
- High rates of Caesarean birth reported by Gypsy, Roma and Traveller research participants, as well as consulted health professionals;
- High rates of Classical Galactosemia among infants born to Irish Traveller parents;
- High rates of miscarriage, pregnancy loss and/or child loss reported by Gypsy, Roma and Traveller research participants.
The resources are designed to support all professionals who provide maternal health and care services to people from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities. The insights and voices of members of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities were prioritised in every stage of the research process, in order to ensure that the guidance authentically reflects the experiences and needs of people from these groups.