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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Traditional methods used in family planning and conception in Malawi: a case study of Mulanje District
Authors:Maliwichi-Nyirenda, Cecilia P.ISNI
Maliwichi, Lucy LynnISNI
Periodical:Indilinga: African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems (ISSN 1683-0296)
Geographic term:Malawi
Subjects:family planning
traditional medicine
Abstract:This article investigates traditional methods used in family planning and conception in Malawi. It is based on focus-group discussions, key informants, questionnaires and interviews. In Malawi family planning methods used are the common modern methods. Traditional methods include breast feeding, abstinence and the wearing of a waist ring made from traditional medicine. Twenty-six indicators are reportedly used in ascertaining if a woman has conceived. Lightening of the woman's complexion is, by far, the most commonly mentioned indicator. Although most of the respondents have no or low formal education, they have vast indigenous knowledge of family planning and conception-related issues. Interestingly, some of the indigenous practices used are similar to the techniques used in modern hospitals. Considering that women continue to successfully conceive and deliver in villages, modern hospitals could tap into indigenous knowledge and incorporate it into the national health care delivery service. Researchers should document the available indigenous knowledge before it is forgotten while ascertaining the validity of some of the methods. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]