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Mobilizing the Community to Address the Prenatal Health Needs of Immigrant Punjabi Women


  • Radhika Bhagat R.N., M.N.,

  • Joy Johnson R.N., Ph.D.,

  • Sukhdev Grewal R.N., B.S.N.,

  • Preet Pandher,

  • Elizabeth Quong M.S.W.,

  • Kathy Triolet R.N., B.A., BScN

Radhika Bhagat is a Community Health Nurse, Vancouver/Richmond Health Board. Joy Johnson is an Associate Professor, School of Nursing, University of British Columbia. Sukhdev Grewal is a Community Health Nurse, Vancouver/Richmond Health Board. Preet Pandher is a Settlement Worker, South Vancouver Neighbourhood House. Elizabeth Quong is a Coordinator, South Vancouver Family Place, and Kathy Triolet is a Community Practice Consultant, Vancouver/Richmond Health Board, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Address correspondence to Radhika Bhagat, North Community Health Office, 2nd Floor, 1651 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V5L 3Y3. E-mail: or radhika_


In Canada, although prenatal education is available to all women, there are groups who do not access these services. One such group is Immigrant Punjabi women residing in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. It was apparent that structured prenatal education, even when translation was available, would not meet the needs of this group. Efforts were required to help bring this issue into the community so that the community would endorse women's participation in prenatal preparation. The purpose of the project described in this article was to explore how community mobilization strategies could be used to improve the health of pregnant women in the Punjabi community. A collaborative approach was used with representatives from a variety of service agencies and the community. The mobilization strategy involved creating a platform to communicate with the community about prenatal health and health care, creating “buy-in” from the physicians serving the women of the community, and providing prenatal sessions that built on the existing knowledge of the women. We describe the mobilization process and discuss the insights gained.

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