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Socio-Cultural Perspectives on Causes and Intervention Strategies of Male Infertility: A Case Study of Mhondoro-Ngezi, Zimbabwe

S Moyo
I Muhwati


The subject of male infertility has, to a large extent, been broached from a western perspective that often insists on the biological factor. This approach has led to a narrowed and narrowing perception of male infertility in that it often neglects other possible crucial socio-cultural dimensions pertaining to the issue. The study is purely qualitative. Focus group discussions and key informant interviews (with males and females) are used to collect qualitative data. The study notes that, unlike in western inclined discourses, male infertility is an intricate condition that transcends biology. Witchcraft and punishment either from God or angry ancestors were avowed to be the determinants of male infertility. The study notes that the Shona people in Mhondoro- Ngezi exclusively rely on socio-cultural intervention strategies to solve the problem of male infertility. The study thus recommends a holistic approach to male infertility which integrates the socio-cultural perspectives in policy and programming, if progress is to be made in unearthing the underlying causes and treatment options. (Afr J Reprod Health 2013; 17[2]: 89-101).

Keywords: male infertility, ancestors, culture, treatment, intervention strategy, Mhondoro-Ngezi