Traditional Belief Systems and Maternal Mortality in a Semi-Urban Community in Southern Nigeria|
Jasper Chiwuzie and Chike Okolocha
Many factors are implicated in the poor maternal health condition in sub-Saharan Africa. Among the more popular focus are weak political and financial commitment, deteriorating institutional infrastructure, rapid population growth rates, pervasive poverty, and gender inequalities. Because of these and other related problems, pregnant women often face dangers, especially in emergencies. In a study conducted in Ekpoma, a semi-urban community in Edo State of southern Nigeria, it became evident that traditional beliefs and practices contribute immensely to the poor health status of pregnant women. These beliefs and practices are outlined in this study and possible ways out of the identified problems suggested. There is the need for a thorough investigation of extra medical factors in the design of any medical intervention program. A broader definition of maternal health, in line with the proposals of the global Safe Motherhood Initiative, is advocated.
Ekpoma, Nigeria, traditional beliefs, safe motherhood, haemorrhage, Benin City