Negative Cultural Practices In Nigeria.
Nigeria has a rich cultural heritage. Cultural practices include: extended family, adequate care for new mothers for 40 days after delivery, prolonged breastfeeding, and respect for elders. Many negative practices exist, most of them affecting the lives and health of children and women. About 90% of babies are delivered by mostly untrained traditional birth attendants (TBAs) and healers. Child marriage is a common Nigerian practice. This deprives the girl of education and results in teenage pregnancy. Legislation does not seem to be very effective. It is hoped that with education, girls will be allowed to remain in school at least until the age of 18. Female circumcision and vaginal mutilation are also common in Nigerian culture. TBAs and healers have stated that there is severe bleeding after circumcision, sometimes so severe that it leads to death. Some harmful delivery practices include: bathing in boiling water, gishiri cut--a crude local symphysiotomy; and agurya cut--removal of the hymen loop on 7-day-old females. Bathing in boiling water results in many women being burned or disfigured; gishiri cut has resulted in vesicovaginal fistula in many young girls. Other harmful practices are: purging of infants to get rid of impurities "they might have swallowed while in the uterus", uvulectomy in infants, and induction of postpartum hemorrhage to clear the uterus of impure blood. The list goes on and on. Nigerian women and children are exposed to many unhealthy practices in the name of tradition or culture.