Blood Drain: A Threat to Maternal Health in Zimbabwe
American Journal of Health Research
Volume 6, Issue 6, November 2018, Pages: 130-137
Received: Nov. 10, 2018; Accepted: Nov. 29, 2018; Published: Dec. 21, 2018
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Dodzo Munyaradzi Kenneth, Centre for Population Studies, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe
Mhloyi Marvellous, Centre for Population Studies, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe
Dodzo Memory, Institute of Development Studies, National University of Science and Technology, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
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Maternal death due to haemorrhage is common in developing countries. The clinical and physiological aspects of maternal bleeding are well researched and better known whereas the social, cultural and religious beliefs are not well understood. These cause delays that increase the risk of maternal death. This study sought to close that gap by using qualitative data from twelve (12) focus group discussions with women aged 19 to 49 years and six (6) key informant interviews with traditional and spiritual community birth attendants. These discussions were conducted in five (5) rural districts of Zimbabwe. A grounded-theory approach was used to analyze the data and verbatim quotes are presented with the results. The study found that, among women of child-bearing age, harmful maternal bleeding through the vagina and menstruation are regarded as synonymous. In some cases, harmful maternal bleeding is regarded as a normal and expected feminine experience, a shameful subject for discussion, the body’s self-cleansing process or a necessary occurrence during maternity. In other cases, women fear to raise false alarms. These social constructions of maternal haemorrhage tend to prolong the time between the incidence of bleeding and the instance of receiving appropriate care or death. The researchers conclude that maternal death due to haemorrhage headlines a bigger story involving delays in recognizing danger and deciding to seek care. Interventions must involve women, partners and/or husbands, households and communities to address harmful social norms, beliefs and attitudes towards vaginal bleeding.
Zimbabwe, Socio-cultural, Religion, Attitudes, Beliefs, Haemorrhage, Maternal Risk
To cite this article
Dodzo Munyaradzi Kenneth, Mhloyi Marvellous, Dodzo Memory, Blood Drain: A Threat to Maternal Health in Zimbabwe, American Journal of Health Research. Vol. 6, No. 6, 2018, pp. 130-137. doi: 10.11648/j.ajhr.20180606.12
Copyright © 2018 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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