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Socio cultural factors in maternal health in rural areas of Northern Cross River State, Nigeria

Dave Ugal, University of Ibadan
Irene-Mary Awah, Federal College of Education, Obudu
Boniface A. Ushie, University of Ibadan
Justine Ingwu, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma

Studies have identified socio cultural factors as crucial in maternal health, yet, over one million women die annually of preventable causes of pregnancy and child birth. This study investigated the role of household decision-making and socio-cultural practices in Maternal health. The study involved quantitative approach. Multi-staged sampling techniques were used to select 823 participants. The socio-economic status of women played a significant role in maternal health (χ2=13.8; P<0.05). Ever married women had better health status than single women (χ2=10.0; P<0.05); women who had their first babies earlier than 20 years of age had poorer health status compared to those who had them later (χ2=14.9; P<0.05). Maternal educational qualification showed no significant relationship with maternal health. Cultural practices such as early marriage and exposure to violence have significant negative relationship with maternal health. Maternal health is the cumulative effects of cultural practices, attitudes and behaviours. Improving the household could improve maternal health.

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Presented in Session 50: Determinants and trends in maternal mortality