An Exploration on social-cultural beliefs and practices associated with maternal mortality: Case of Manyika rural village
Kawazva, Charles F.
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This dissertation explores social-cultural beliefs and practices associated with maternal mortality. The study was carried out in Manyika rural village in Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe, a district in Mashonaland East province of Zimbabwe. This was stimulated by high increase of maternal mortality rates in Manyika rural area. The objectives of the study was to identify social beliefs and practices associated with maternal death, examine cultural customs believed to be related with maternal mortality in Manyika rural village and to identify social work related interventions that can used to address maternal mortality rate in Manyika rural village. A qualitative research design called phenomenology was used to explore social-cultural beliefs and practices phenomena associated with maternal death in this study. Interviews were held with five (5) respondents and three (3) key informants. Snowballing was used as a sampling technique to choose five (5) participants and purposive sampling was also used to choose key informants. The results produced that home delivery, decision making, poverty and unsafe abortion as social beliefs and practices associated with maternal mortality. The research examined witchcraft, use of traditional medicine “Mushonga weMasuo”, “masungiro”, “kuchekwa masari” as cultural customs that has both negatively and positive influence on maternal mortality in rural areas. Also, the study identified initiation of income generating projects, conscientisation and social research as social work related interventions that can be employed to mitigate high maternal mortality rate in Manyika rural area. The study then lastly suggested various recommendations, among these recommendations include, carrying out a social research based on best cultural practices done during birthing and revising the current reproductive health policy. vi