Health practices related to Dikgaba in pregnancy in the Bojanala district of the North West province, South Africa
Kgoadigoadi, Swinky Cornelia
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The use of traditional medicine during pregnancy and childbirth is common among the Black traditional cultures of Southern Africa. Any pregnancy–related problem is believed to be somehow associated with dikgaba, a phenomenon that only indigenous healers are capable of managing. It is therefore crucial that the midwives and other health care professionals acknowledge the relevance of traditional medicine when dealing with clients who belong to black traditional societies of South Africa. The objective of the study was to explore and describe health practices related to dikgaba in pregnancy as well as to formulate recommendations for culturally congruent and safe midwifery care. In–depth individual interviews were conducted to collect data from ten participants known to be experts in kgaba remedies used during pregnancy and birth. These were traditional healers, traditional birth attendants and those with keen interest in traditional and cultural issues. Interviews were conducted in the participants’ homes for privacy, confidentiality and convenience. A naturalistic and phenomenological approach using contextual exploratory and descriptive research design was used to reach the aim of the study from the perspectives of Batswana in the North West province. The study revealed that an understanding of dikgaba and the related healing practices in pregnancy and childbirth is common. This clearly motivates for better understanding of traditional medicine by the midwives as it is relevant and justifiable. Recommendations are made to inform the transformation of the health–care delivery system, with specific reference to midwifery education, research and practice, in order to make health care acceptable and accessible to all.
- Health Sciences