Traditional practices aggravating maternal mortality in selected wards of Temeke district in Dar es Salaam-Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
This study explored different traditional practices (TPs) that aggravate maternal mortality in urban and mixed rural-urban populations in temeke district, Tanzania the main assumption was that maternal mortality in these areas is contributed to by a number of factors, among which traditional practices are. Structured and unstructured interviews supplemented by in- depth interviews regarding traditional practices related to maternal health were conducted in Tandika and Toangoma wards of Temeke district, Dar es Salaam. Content analysis for qualitative data was used alongside quantitative analyses for quantitative data. The findings indicated that most maternal deaths and complications were associated with cases of anaemia , eclampsia and haemorrhage; and the factors behind were less related to traditional practices (TPs) . young age at birth, poor nutrition associated with taboos on types of foods to be eaten during pregnancy were the main factors behind problems related to anaemia and women’ failure to push during delivery. Also, lack of control over household resources, male-dominated decisions on when and where to seek medical help are part of the traditional practices (TPs) that acted as barriers on women towards seeking modern medical care. Other traditional practices (TPs) aggravating maternal mortality in the area include belief systems on the causes and cures of diseases. Thus the main factors behind over- reliance on traditional practices (TPs) were low levels of education, poverty, the influence of other household members based on their perceptions on causes and cures of diseases as well as past experiences on problems that had occurred in the family. To solve the problem of maternal deaths in Temeke district and therefore in other parts of the country , educational advancement should be encouraged. This should involve all household members, and it can be done by providing maternal health education from primary level on wards. Moreover women should be economically empowered. This call for strategies to raise their entrepreneurial skills and meaningful loaning that can increase their capital turnover.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class Mark (THS EAF HB1322.5.M3258)
Mortality, Maternal mortality, Traditional practices, Temeke district
Mbwana, E. G (2008) Traditional practices aggravating maternal mortality in selected wards of Temeke district in Dar es Salaam-Tanzania, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam