Engendering the Attainment of the SDG-3 in Africa: Overcoming the Socio Cultural Factors Contributing to Maternal Mortality

Rosemary N. Ogu, Kingsley N. Agholor, Friday E. Okonofua

Abstract

At the conclusion of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide an opportunity to ensure healthy lives, promote the social well-being of women and end preventable maternal death. However, inequities in health and avoidable health inequalities occasioned by adverse social, cultural and economic influences and policies are major determinants as to whether a woman can access evidence-based clinical and preventative interventions for reducing maternal mortality. This review discusses sociocultural influences that contribute to the high rate of maternal mortality in Nigeria, a country categorised as having made ―no progress‖ towards achieving MDG 5. We highlight the need for key interventions to mitigate the impact of negative sociocultural practices and social inequality that decrease women‘s access to evidence-based reproductive health services that lead to high rate of maternal mortality. Strategies to overcome identified negative sociocultural influences and ultimately galvanize efforts towards achieving one of the tenets of SDG-3 are recommended. (Afr J Reprod Health 2016 (Special Edition); 20[3]: 62-74).

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