Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice

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Cultural perceptions influencing obstetric complications among women in Kaduna, Northwestern Nigeria

R Abubakar, S Yohanna, H Zubairu


Background: Maternal mortality remains a public health challenge despite the global progress made toward its reduction. Cultural beliefs and traditional practices contribute to delays and poor access to maternal health services. This study examined cultural perceptions influencing obstetric complications among women who delivered at Yusuf Dantsoho Memorial Hospital, Tudun‑Wada, Kaduna.

Methodology: The study was a cross‑sectional study conducted at the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department of Yusuf Dantsoho Memorial General Hospital, Tudun‑Wada, Kaduna, from February to April 2014. Two hundred and six women who delivered during the study period irrespective of their booking status and consented to participate in the study were recruited consecutively. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire.

Results: Majority of the participants were Hausas (74.8%), Muslims (94.7%), married (99.0%), unemployed (45.1%), and within the age group of 20–29 years (58.7%). Most had secondary education (44.2%). The most frequent maternal complications encountered were prolonged obstructed labor (27.7%), obstetric hemorrhage (23.4%), severe preeclampsia /eclampsia (18.2%), and sepsis (5.8%). “Feeling embarrassed if delivered in hospital” was significantly associated with prolonged obstructed labor, while “feeling proud if delivered at home” was five times more significantly associated with obstetric hemorrhage.

Conclusion and Recommendations: Cultural perceptions and traditional practices are major causes of primary delay in accessing maternal health services. The study emphasizes the importance of maternal health education among women in this region. Cultural perceptions and their influence on maternal mortality and morbidity should be integrated into health education programs.

Keywords: Cultural perceptions, Kaduna, obstetric complications

AJOL African Journals Online