Understanding maternal health care through the role played by dietary food taboos in Binga
Globally studies have shown that pregnant women and infants are amongst the most nutritionally vulnerable populace, the situation is even worse in rural areas of most developing countries. This makes such groups a cause of concern in maternal health care. In Zimbabwe, this problem is exacerbated by the role that food kutondwa hold in many societies and the different knowledge on maternal health care, received by pregnant women from different sources in the society. The understanding maternal health care through the role played by dietary food taboos study was guided by the following objectives to explore food kutondwa followed by the Tonga women when pregnant, to examine the role played by food kutondwa in maternal health and to evaluate the significance of the food kutondwa in the Tonga society. The study made use of a qualitative research approach making use of focus group discussions, observations and key informant interviews as data collection methods. The research found out that there were a number of foods kutondwa that were followed by pregnant women like not consuming eggs, game meat and not eating left over foods on the morrow. The study hence concluded that food kutondwa generally are seen as unavoidable in the Tonga society and the reasons behind continuity of such food kutondwa remain a dilemma to most maternal health care providers. Finally, the study recommends the need to understand the role and significance of food kutondwa associated with prenatal care for the achievement of maternal health care.
Keywords: kutondwa, pregnant woman, neonate, prenatal care, maternal health care, maternal mortality, kutondwa food