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ISSN: 0331-4111  e-ISSN: 2736-075X
Volume 20, No. 1, June 2022
Pages 119-143

DOI: 10.36108/NJSA/2202.02.0190

Socio-Cultural Correlates of Maternal Morbidity in Lagos State, Nigeria

Ajoseh, S. M. and Raji, S. O.
Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos State, Nigeria


Adverse maternal health is a public health challenge in Less developed countries particularly Nigeria. Despite different interventions, Nigerian women are 500 times more likely to die during pregnancy than their counterparts in more developed countries. Although, some women survive the phase of pregnancy and delivery, they do so with disabling long-term complications. Clinical factors have been identified as possible causes of these adverse maternal issues with no recourse to cultural and behavioural factors. This study focuses on the influence of socio-cultural factors on maternal morbidity among women of reproductive age. Health Belief Model and Religious Functionalism of Emile Durkheim were adopted as the theoretical orientation. The Cross-sectional survey design was utilized with 400 questionnaires administered among pregnant women through the multi-stage sampling technique. Cultural beliefs on pregnancy and child delivery include sharing of gifts to children in the neigbourhood, killing of rams, naming first born at their paternal grandfather, circumcision, not walking in the hot sun, and the necessity of children as a sign of fruitfulness among others. The Bivariate analysis showed that cultural beliefs predict high blood pressure, diabetes and complicated Malaria (p<0.001). Taboos about pregnancy significantly influence stillbirth and diabetes (p<0.05), high blood pressure (p<0.01), and complicated malaria (p<0.001). The Logistic Model indicated that women who take vegetables than other foods are more likely not to experience high blood pressure during pregnancy (p<0.05), while taking herbs more than other rituals make women more likely to experience diabetes during pregnancy (p<0.01). The study recommends among others dieting, exercise, rest, intake of fruits and vegetables, taking prescribed drugs and prayers should be encouraged by formal medical and trado-medical practitioners, friends and family members.
Keywords: Cultural, morbidity, maternal health, ante natal

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