CULTURAL BELIEFS AND GENDER DYNAMICS OF PMTCT SERVICES AMONG PREGNANT …

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1            Background of the study

In many communities in sub-Saharan Africa, pregnancy is viewed as a ‘woman’s affair’, with a man’s role primarily to provide financial support. Even where men view accompanying their partner to antenatal clinics or PMTCT services as good practice, many still feels their main role is to provide financing for registration and delivery fees (Nkuoh, 2010).

In many settings, traditional gender roles and cultural beliefs mean that men often make decisions determining women’s participation in HIV testing. For example, according to recent Demographic and Health Surveys in Senegal, Niger, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria and Cameroon, 80% of married 15-19 year-old women do not have the final say on their own healthcare (Pathfinder International 2013).

Men also report negative attitudes from community members when escorting their spouses to antenatal clinics.

1.2            Statement of the study

Because of cultural beliefs, most men do not like to accompany their wives to the antenatal clinics. Men who accompany their wives to ANC are perceived to be weaklings by their peers. For this reason, this pertinent question formed the birth rock of this study:  what are the cultural beliefs and gender dynamics of pmtct services among pregnant women


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