Socio-cultural dynamics and their impact on management of infertility in Kenya: the case of Nairobi
Olande, Margaret A
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This study was an exploration on the impact of cultural and psychosocial dynamics in the management and treatment of infertility. It also endeavoured to assess the knowledge, attitudes, perceptions regarding infertility and its causes among communities in Nairobi. This study used descriptive research approach. The researcher used nonprobabilistic sampling to administer semi-structured questionnaires, which were distributed to forty-three respondents within Diamond Trust Bank. Secondly, the researcher used the case study approach to carry out in-depth interviews with four individuals' (two males and two females) who are suffering infertility. Finally, four medical doctors in the field of reproductive health, specifically gynaecologists were selected purposively and interviewed. The study revealed that persons suffering from infertility were stigmatised. Infertility was perceived from the standpoint of traditional practices and taboos such as lack of respect for elders, curses, religious beliefs and "incompatibility of blood between the spouses". Most communities were found to have inadequate knowledge about the causes of infertility; however, those with higher education levels i.e. secondary, and '~ postgraduate levels had knowledge on the medical ca-us.es of infertility. Community perceptions elevated the man thus led to bias and prejudice against women in instances of childlessness. The results from all communities sampled indicated that women who are infertile are mistreated thus the condition of infertility is feminised. The dominant type of infertility revealed is the secondary form of the condition that is found to result from a history of STIs, injury, poor corrective surgery or growths in women's' reproductive systems. Facilities for the management of infertility were found to be concentrated in the urban areas and at a high cost. Xli Management and treatment of infertility is a crucial factor for the publics well being. Dealing with infertility within the populace is challenging due to the sensitive and personal nature of the condition. Cultural factors playa big role in interpretations of infertility therefore there is great need to create awareness and address infertility as a medical condition right from the grassroots. In addition, affordable and easy accessibility to medical facilities and doctors should be facilitated in all parts of the country. This study recommends that the department of Public Health should have reproductive health experts at the district level to help those who cannot access urban treatment. It also recommended reduction of adoption process by removing some of the bureaucracies, which makes the process too long and tedious.