School of Social Sciences

PhD Study reveals Maternal Health Seeking Behaviour is based on Socio-Cultural Beliefs and Practices

Dr Ayoola Dada graduated with his PhD in Social Sciences. His thesis investigated the influence of cultural beliefs and practices on maternal health seeking, the relationship between women’s social demographic characteristics and maternal health seeking and the impact of the social structure on maternal health seeking.
Dr Ayoola Dada.

Dada’s survey of 196 women aged 15-45 in the Ekiti District in Nigeria found that maternal health behaviour is inseparable from socio-economic and cultural contexts.

Employing field methods from Medical Sociology and Demography, he concluded that maternal health seeking transcends the boundaries of these disciplines and that comprehensive understanding calls for the use of both.

The model of behavioural change in public health, rational choice theory, location theory and feminist theory enabled him to highlight the links between socio-cultural variables and maternal health seeking by showing the strength of their separate and collective relationships.

The study found that patriarchy has a strong impact on maternal health seeking. Furthermore, the majority of the women participants strongly believe in the efficacy of herbs in pregnancy management and child bearing. Finally, health workers’ attitudes discourage health seeking.

Given the patriarchal nature of Nigerian society, Dada recommends ‘that men should be educated on the intricacies that revolve around maternal health because they dominate family decision-making. In addition, there is a need to strengthen policies and capacity building, and training of health care providers for improved quality of care and sustained research on reproductive health.’

Professor Sultan Khan and Dr Lubna Nadvi supervised the study.

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Dr Clayton Hazvinei Vhumbunu at CODESRIA’s General Assembly Conference.

UKZN Research Fellow presents paper at CODESRIA General Assembly Conference

Research Fellow in International Relations within the School of Social Sciences, Dr Clayton Hazvinei Vhumbunu presented a paper on African Regional Economic Integration in the era of Globalisation: Reflecting on the Trials, Tribulations and Triumphs, at the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa’s (CODESRIA) 15th General Assembly Conference in Dakar, Senegal.

From left: Mr Niq Mhlongo, Mrs Shantha Maharaj, Ms Darniel Small, Dr Patricia Opondo, Professor Nobuhle Hlongwa, Mr Mbuso Khoza, Dr Saleem Badat, Professor Nhlanhla Mkhize, Professor Nogwaja Zulu and Ms Xoliswa Zulu

Humanities Academics spearhead research projects through the Mellon Foundation

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Humanities Professor Nhlanhla Mkhize and academics Professors Ernest Khalema, Maheshvari Naidu, Nobuhle Hlongwa and Nogwaja Zulu recently met with Dr Saleem Badat of the Andrew W Mellon Foundation to discuss their research projects that were made possible through funding from the Foundation.