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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Sociocultural meanings of reproductive processes and well-being in a rural community in Kenya
Author:Maithya, Harrison M.K.
Year:2006
Periodical:Research Review (ISSN 0855-4412)
Volume:22
Issue:1
Pages:1-14
Language:English
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Kenya
East Africa
Subjects:pregnancy
women's health
infertility
images
Kamba
Cultural Roles
Health, Nutrition, and Medicine
Family Life
Marital Relations and Nuptiality
Anthropology, Folklore, Culture
Childbirth--Mythology
Human reproduction
Kamba (African people)
Superstition
Maternal health services
Abstract:Drawing on data from fieldwork carried out in Machakos District (Kenya) in 1999-2000, this paper considers the cultural meanings attached to reproductive processes and outcomes and how these are linked to the Kamba notions of illness, health and well-being. It explores the meanings of reproductive failures and successes, and the importance of childbearing for individuals, the family and the wider kin. The presented case studies reveal that in Kenya people recognize multiple causes of poor reproductive outcomes. Childbearing is associated with both 'strength' and its absence, or 'loss'. The value placed on children is not necessarily economic, and reproductive success or failure is not about numbers alone, it is also about the sex of children. Reproduction is not, in itself, seen as a threat to a woman's health. It is uncontrolled childbearing that is perceived to have negative health implications for women. Bibliogr., notes, sum. in English and French. [ASC Leiden abstract]
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