Socio-Cultural Beliefs and Practices Associated with Infertility In Kenya: A Case Of Kisumu County
Infertility in men and women is a widespread global phenomenon. However, socio-cultural beliefs and practices have been associated with failed reproduction processes in Africa. The study specifically aimed at establishing socio-cultural beliefs and practices associated with infertility. Similarly, the study relied on a mixed method design which involves integratingboth qualitative and quantitative techniques. Thereafter, the data were organized, tabulated, interpreted and described. In particular, the study employed the use of semi-structured questionnaires to gather information from 200 respondents. In addition, six Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) comprising of 10-12 individuals and thirty six (36) Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) comprising 20 health officers/practitioners, 4 religious leaders, 4 herbalists and 8 Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) were conducted. The study disclosed that the concept of infertility has strong social, cultural and economic undertones. From the perspectives of childless couples, health practitioners, traditional birth attendants, herbalists and religious leaders, the respondents have limited knowledge about causes of infertility. In particular, infertility is given negative labels embedded in the community‟s socio-cultural set up. In Kisumu County, children are quite vital and not predictive of the residents‟ experiences but also their future. The study recommends for a comprehensive education program within Kisumu County aimed at filling the existing knowledge gap about infertility and any myths associated with it. The study concludes that low level of knowledge is a threat to management of infertility in Kisumu county.
Key words: Social-cultural, beliefs, Infertility, Kisumu County.