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ISSN: 0331-4111
Volume 10, No. 1,  (2012)

DOI: 10.36108/NJSA/2102/01(0170)

Household and Socio-cultural factors in Maternal Health in Rural areas of Northern Cross River State, Nigeria
Uche C. Isiugo-Abanihe1 & David B. Ugal2
1 Department of Sociology University of Ibadan
2Department of Demography and Social Statistics Joseph Ayo Babalola University Ikeji-Arakeji, Osun State

The study investigates household and socio-cultural factors that predispose women to high morbidity and mortality in rural Northern Cross River State. The study design utilized the survey research approach involving a sample of 823 respondents drawn from an estimated total population of 842,561 women. Multi-staged sampling procedure was used to select sampling units. Data were subjected to chi-square and logistic regression analysis. The socio-economic status of women played a significant role in maternal health; ever married women had better health status than those that were single; women who had their first babies earlier than the age of 20 had poorer health status relative to those who had them later. Household sanitation and hygiene behaviour were significantly related to maternal health status. Households with poor waste disposal systems reported poorer health status relative to those with better waste disposal systems. Some cultural practices such as early marriage, patriarchy and exposure to intimate partner violence have significant negative relationship with maternal health. Maternal health is the result of cumulative effects of household factors, cultural practices, attitudes and behaviours; improving the household and communal environment could significantly improve maternal health. This could be enhanced through improvement of health services and dissemination of health information in the rural communities which will properly educate women and empower them to resist obnoxious culture-bound factors that undermine their health.
Keywords: maternal health, household decision-making, domestic violence, health facilities, Cross River State

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