AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE NEGATIVE CULTURAL PRACTICES ON HEALTH OF INDIGENES IN UGHELI DELTA STATE

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Abstract

This study is aimed at determining the cultural factors (beliefs, traditional, and customs) on the health of indigenes of Ughel Delta state of Nigeria the researcher randomly select 200 indigenes of Ughel as the population of the study, and the researcher uses Taro yamani formular to arrived at the sample population for the study. A structured questionnaire containing 15 questions was translated in pidgin English (the lingua franca in the region) was used by the researcher and with the  assistants who hail from the selected communities to elicit information from both literate and illiterate natives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENT

Title page

Approval page

Dedication

Acknowledgment

Abstract

Table of content

CHAPETR ONE

1.0   INTRODUCTION 

1.1        Background of the study

1.2        Statement of problem

1.3        Objective of the study

1.4       Research question

1.5        Research Hypotheses

1.6        justification of the study

1.7        Scope and limitation of the study

1.8       study area

1.9       Organization of the study

CHAPETR TWO

2.0   LITERATURE REVIEW

CHAPETR THREE

3.0        Research methodology

3.1    sources of data collection

3.3        Population of the study

3.4        Sampling and sampling distribution

3.5        Validation of research instrument

3.6        Method of data analysis

CHAPTER FOUR

DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION

4.1 Introductions

4.2 Data analysis

CHAPTER FIVE

5.1 Introduction

5.2 Summary

5.3 Conclusion

5.4 Recommendation

Appendix

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  • Background of the study

The United Nations has estimated that there are approximately 370 million indigenous peoples in the world, living across all regions in at least 70 countries. There is an enormous diversity of languages and cultures amongst indigenous peoples. However, an unfortunate commonality across much of the world‚Äôs indigenous peoples is persisting inequities in health status in comparison to non-indigenous populations. Gaps are not only in health status, but also in many determinants of health. Data indicates that circumstances of extreme poverty are significantly more prevalent among indigenous peoples than non-indigenous groups, and are rooted in other factors, such as a lack of access to education and social services, destruction of indigenous economies and socio-political structures, forced displacement, armed conflict, and the loss and degradation of their customary lands and resources. These forces are determined and compounded by structural racism and discrimination, and make indigenous women and children particularly vulnerable to poor health. Because of these phenomena, indigenous peoples experience high levels of maternal and infant mortality, malnutrition, cardiovascular illnesses, HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis. These health inequities are of grave concern from a public health perspective, but also from a human rights perspective. All peoples have the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, and states have the responsibility to promote, protect, and fulfil all human rights. In addition to being recognized in many international conventions, the right to health for indigenous peoples is further stipulated in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which also recognizes their right to traditional medicines and the maintenance of their traditional health practices. WHO Regional Office for the Americas (PAHO/WHO)i promotes the rights of indigenous peoples in line with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. There is a need to increase indigenous participation in the planning and delivery of health services because ‚Äú[t]here is a strong correlation between the health of individuals and communities and the exercise or denial of the right of self determination Data from demographic and health surveys have highlighted the detrimental situation and failure to respect the right to health and to life for indigenous women and youth. There are gaps in equity in comparison with non-indigenous peoples in terms of access to family planning services, delivery care for pregnant indigenous women as well as immunization coverage and the prevalence of illnesses associated with higher mortality rates for their children.iv In addition, as the incidence of other public health issues (such as alcohol and substance abuse, depression, and suicide) increases, urgent and concerted efforts are needed to improve the health of indigenous peoples. The growing problem of alcohol consumption in Latin American countries, especially among women and young people, is recognized and specifically addressed by PAHO/WHO in the Plan of Action to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol (2011). In terms of information, it is essential to improve record systems for maternal-infant health in general, and maternal mortality in particular, by incorporating an ethnic focus in all data sources and during all stages of information gathering. It is also essential to reinterpret standard indicators through the right to cultural wholeness, ensuring the full participation of indigenous communities and peoples in these processes. Indigenous populations are growing rapidly in many countries, and there is a higher child to adult dependency ration compared to non-indigenous populations. Sexual health is of especially great relevance to indigenous youth and adolescents. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) notes, ‚ÄúA special mention needs to be made with respect to indigenous adolescents, given the higher proportion of adolescent maternity that reveals ethnic related unequal access to reproductive rights.‚ÄĚ In Latin America, the proportion of young mothers in the indigenous population is higher than that of the non-indigenous population. The countries in this region with the greatest disparity between indigenous and non-indigenous adolescent mothers are Brazil (27 percent versus 12 percent), Costa Rica (30 percent versus 12 percent), Panama (37 percent versus 15 percent), and Paraguay (45 percent versus 11 percent), respectively. This evidences the unequal access to the right to sexual and reproductive health due to a variety of structural causes: that statistically girls have less education than boys, a great number live in rural areas with restricted access to health care, and the lack of culturally appropriate health services, which make it difficult for these young people to access family planning services.x The rate of pregnancies for adolescent women in indigenous communities is inextricably linked to social norms and attitudes regarding sexual protection and family planning. Thus, precautions against sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS are often forgone, resulting in high rates of sexually transmitted infections amongst indigenous youth. In Latin America, rates of HIV infection among women have risen from 4 percent in 1990 to 30 percent in 2007; in countries like Haiti, Guyana, and Dominican Republic, the rate of infection among adolescent women is estimated to be at 50 percent. According to Ademuwagun (1998) there is a Yoruba adage ‚ÄúAra Lile L‚Äô Ogun Oro‚ÄĚ, (which means good health is the right prescription for wealth). The sociological concept of health related behavior is defined as what people do individually and collectively in order to maintain or remain in good health; what specific steps are taken, sometime called pattern of resort and why? (Owumi 1994; Badru 2001; Igun 2003; Ewhrudjakpor 2007) The implication of this is that the steps taken by any person in the utilization of health services follow a particular pattern. In Nigeria, particularly in Warri area the steps taken by an individual toward utilization of health care services depend mainly on the culture of the people. Culture or civilization, taken in its broadest ethnographic sense, is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, traditions, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man and transmitted from generation to generation among the members of society. Culture and health behaviour are very important segments in society. (WHO 1998). Three decades ago, World Health Organization (WHO) expert committee shed light on the meaning of traditional (unorthodox) medicine. This committee defines orthodox medicine as: the sum of all knowledge and practices whether explicable or not, used in diagnosis, prevention and elimination of physical, mental or social imbalance and relying extensively on experience and observation handed down from generation to generation, whether verbally or in writing, (WHO 1978). In fact, the committee meant further to describe a traditional or unorthodox healer as: (that) person who is recognized by the community in which he lives as competent to provide health care using vegetable, animal and mineral substances and certain methods based on the social, cultural and religious backgrounds as well as knowledge, attitudes and beliefs that are prevalent in the community regarding physical, mental and social well being and the causation of disease and disability. (WHO 1978). In contrast to the (WHO 1978) expert committee, modern scientist medicine referred to as orthodox medicine here is defined as a professional discipline that relies on a body of knowledge, and requires specialized knowledge, scientific training and skills aimed at diagnosing, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of the physically and mentally sick. (Tella 1992; Badru 2001; Ewhrudjakpor 2007; Okujagu 2007). This definition encapsulates such disciplines as internal medicine, psychiatry, pediatrics, surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, pharmacology among others. The definition differs from a layman‚Äôs instance, administering drug like paracetamol to relieve pain (Sallah 2007). The evolution of medical practices does not mean that the past unorthodox medical practice can affect the present orthodox health systems. The cultural variables of the unorthodox past inhibiting the contemporary health concerns is of tremendous interest to researchers of medical sociology, particularly in a developing society like Nigeria. This is because of the generally acknowledged fact that ‚Äúhealth is wealth‚ÄĚ. The negative economic, social and educational impact of illnesses like fever, human immuno virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), tuberculosis, reproductive health problems, cancer, mental illness, and leprosy, imposed inadvertently on people of the ¬†Ugheli and Niger-Delta of Nigeria is enormous. This blockade must be investigated and then those cultural factors systematically eliminated

 

 

  • STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Many people, especially in rural communities, are still involved in indigenous (traditional) child rearing and child care practices. These practices vary with culture and some of them may affect the health and development of the child negatively, in the short or long run. Several studies have shown that some traditional neonatal care practices may put the child at risk by causing infections, anaemia, hypothermia and hypoglycaemia thereby increasing the risk of morbidity and mortality. In developing countries like Nigeria, traditional attitudes and practices dominate newborn and child care. Some of these practices for example female genital mutilation are obviously harmful and contribute significantly to childhood morbidity and mortality and are still practised despite community health education. Others on the other hand are more subtle but are inimical to children’s health by either endangering health or hindering health-seeking behaviours for children‚Äôs illnesses or resulting in mismanagement of children‚Äôs sicknesses at home. However policy makers seem to underscore the importance of sociocultural beliefs and practices in health care of their indigenes. It is against this backdrop that the researcher decide to investigate the negative cultural practices on health of indigenes of Ugheli Delta state in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

  • OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

The main objective of this study is to investigate the negative cultural practices on the health of indigenes of Ugheli Delta state. But to aid the completion of the study, the researcher intends to achieve the following specific objective;

  1. To investigate the effect of negative cultural practice on the health of Ugheli citizens
  2. To examine the role of traditional authority in eliminating some of the unhealthy cultural practice in Ugheli community
  • To examine the relationship between negative cultural practices and the health conditions of Ugheli citizens
  1. To investigate the impact of negative cultural practice on the well-being of Ugheli citizens
    • RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

To aid the completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

H0: negative cultural practice does not have any effect on the health of Ugheli citizens

H1: negative cultural practice does have an effect on the health of Ugheli citizens

H0: there is no significant relationship between negative cultural practices and the health conditions of Ugheli citizens

H2: there is a significant relationship between negative cultural practices and the health conditions of Ugheli citizens

  • SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

it is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of great importance to the elders and traditional rulers of Ugheli community in ensuring that negative cultural practices are reviewed and possibly abolish for the well-being of her citizens. The study will also be important to government and health practitioners in educating the traditional leaders and her citizen on the health implication of the negative consequences and implications of some of her cultural practice in the state and region, the study will be useful to researchers who intend to embark on a study in a similar topic as the study will serve as a pathfinder to further study. Finally the study will be useful to academia’s, researchers, student, teachers, lecturers and the general public as the study will add to the pool of existing literature on the subject matter and also contribute to knowledge.

  • SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

The scope of the study covers an investigation into the negative cultural practices on health of indigenes of Ugheli Delta state. But in the cause of the study, there were some factors that limited the scope of the study;

  1. a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
  2. b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
  3. c) Finance: the finances at the disposal of the researcher was very limited as such could not finance a broader scope of the study

1.7 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS

Culture

Culture is the social behavior and norms found in human societies. Culture is considered a central concept in anthropology, encompassing the range of phenomena that are transmitted through social learning in human societies.

Negative cultural practice

Cultural practice. Cultural practice generally refers to the manifestation of a culture or sub-culture, especially in regard to the traditional and customary practices of a particular ethnic or other cultural group

Health

Health is the ability of a biological system to acquire, convert, allocate, distribute, and utilize energy with maximum efficiency

Indigenes

Indigenous peoples, also known as first peoples, aboriginal peoples or native peoples, are ethnic groups who are the original inhabitants of a given region, in contrast to groups that have settled, occupied or colonized the area more recently.

 

1.8 BRIEF HISTORY OF UGHELI

Ughelli¬†is a town in¬†Delta State,¬†Nigeria. The city of Ughelli has an ‘Ovie’, which is the traditional ruler. The indigenes of Ughelli town have a yearly celebration festival called ‘Omanuku’. According to the 1991 census Ughelli had a population of 54,206; a 2007 estimate places its population at 82,994. The town was originally an¬†agricultural¬†center, but¬†industry¬†has now developed there.¬†Petroleum extraction¬†by¬†Shell¬†occurs in the vicinity.

The major schools are the Anglican Girls Grammar School, St Theresa’s College, Government College, Lulu Schools, Kogbodi International School, Noble Crest Schools, Marvel School, High Standard Comprehensive, and Petra College The town is also the home of Our Lady of the Waters Cathedral, seat of the Roman Catholic¬†Apostolic Vicariate of Bomadi. A¬†Frigoglass¬†glass bottle factory is located here

1.9 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.  Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study



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