Impact of maternal care and cultural beliefs on childhood morbidity and mortality in Nigeria

Olasupo P. Ogunjuyigbe, Obafemi Awolowo University
Luqman Bisiriyu, Obafemi Awolowo University
Ebenezer Ojofeitimi, Obafemi Awolowo University

The paper highlights the role of cultural beliefs on infant and child morbidity and mortality. The study elicited information from 967 women of reproductive age in Ondo and Ekiti state of Southwest Nigeria. The study showed that (i)more than half of the respondents believe in the existence of abiku children; (ii) that abiku children can be identified from the evidence of past death, frequent indisposition, non-responsiveness of their illness to modern medical care as well as repeated death and verification from traditional healers; (iii) that causes of illness differ between abiku and non-abiku children; (iv) close to 71 percent of the respondents have faith in traditional methods of treatment for abiku children. The study, therefore, reiterate the need to integrate the people’s beliefs, attitudes and behavioural practices into health promotion programmes.

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Presented in Poster Session 2