Cultural Practices And Reproductive Health In Nigeria

Read Complete Research Material

Cultural Practices and Reproductive Health in Nigeria

Cultural Practices and Reproductive Health in Nigeria


Culture has been defined as a way of life of a people and the different societies in Nigeria have embraced different cultural beliefs overtime. These have been handed over from generation to generation. Different traditional beliefs, superstitions and mythology are firmly and deeply rooted within our societies and the culture of a people has a direct relationship with their health seeking behavior. The health seeking behavior of Nigerians is known to be poor. The impact of these harmful cultural beliefs cuts across all strata of the society hence its significance and difficulty in eradication. Harmful cultural practices have direct effect on reproductive health.

In order to provide culturally competent care, there must first be a basic knowledge of terminology such as culture, culturally diverse care, ethnocentrism, and cultural competence. Culture provides a framework for behaving and is designed for survival in a specific environment. Family roles, childbearing practices and communication are essential attributes that define an individual's culture. Culture influences perceptions, interpretations, decisions, actions, and healthcare practices. Ways of behaving are based on values attributed to group identity, doctrines, and opinions. These values are predicated upon agreed beliefs or creed which are maintained by culture and transmitted through language.

Culture is a set of learned and shared beliefs and values that include human functions related to political, economic, social, religious, philosophical, educational, and technological activities. It is the totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, art, beliefs, values, customs, life ways, products, and characteristics of a population that guide decision making. Actions and decisions are governed by culture, and this subsequently guides our thinking, feelings, being, and behavior. Perceptions, beliefs and evaluation of lived experiences develop through interactions which are defined by culture.

Cultural competence allows childbirth educators the opportunity to promote holistic care. They can be an advocate for program-based cultural competence, adapting to meet a woman's needs and expectations. Actions should promote, support, and protect a woman's beliefs and cultural practices. The basis of a culturally competent program is a willingness to develop interventions predicated on knowledge of and encounters with diverse cultures. Holistic programs include academic and interpersonal skills that allow for increased understanding and appreciation of cultural differences and similarities within, among and between groups (Korejo 2005, 97).

Cultural competence decreases the potential for assumed similarity, which implies all people share the same beliefs. Through self-awareness, insightful interpretation of others' behaviors and attitudes can be facilitated. Without self-awareness, childbearing educators can have a false sense of security about individuals unlike themselves. Therefore, the need to assess your own cultural competence, beginning with an understanding of self is paramount to a successful childbirth education program.

Abdominal massaging during pregnancy

Abdominal massage is a silent killer, which has added to maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity in this region. This practice is very common in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria and is commonly carried out by traditional birth attendants and this could be either male or female ...
Related Ads