Social and cultural aspects of infertility in Mozambique



Findings of an anthropological study of socio-cultural aspects of infertility among members of the matrilineal ethnic group Macua in the north of Mozambique are presented. Infertile women apply various strategies to have a child. Traditional healers are visited much more often than the modern hospital, and the explanations the infertile women themselves give for their infertility more often originated from the traditional healers than from the hospital staff. Almost all of the interviewed women commit adultery in the hope to conceive. Some of them apply fostering as a partial solution for childlessness. The Macua infertile women experience various consequences due to their infertility, of which exclusion from certain social activities and traditional ceremonies is perceived as a very problematic one. The matrilineal kinship system means that the husband and his family do not mistreat and repudiate her. Infertility must be considered as a serious reproductive health problem in Mozambique. For the long term preventive measures may be more influential than curative one. The findings of this study can be used to elaborate culturally sensitive health education programmes.

Click here to read more – Gerrits (1998) Social and cultural aspects of infertility in Mozambique.

General Information:

  • To be published on country nodes: The Netherlands
  • This item is about these countries: Global
  • Theme: Infertility