Under-Five Mortality in Nigeria: Perception and Attitudes of the IKWERRES in Rivers State towards the Existence of “OGBA – NJE”
The paper examines the under-five mortality in Nigeria with regards to the perception and attitudes of the Ikwerres about the existence of ‘Ogba-nje’ (children from the spirit world) and the mode of treatment given to such children. The study elicited information from 1695 women of reproductive age in Port Harcourt and Obio-Akpor LGAs of Rivers State South-South, Nigeria. The study shows that (i) more than half of the respondents believe in the existence of Ogba-nje children; (ii) that Ogba-nje children can be identified from the evidence of past death, frequent indisposition, non-responsiveness of their illness to moderate medical care as well as repeated death and verification from traditional healers; that causes of illness differ between Ogba-nje and non Ogba-nje children; (iv) close to 71 percent of the respondents have faith in traditional methods of treatment for Ogba-nje children. The study, therefore, reiterate the need to integrate the people;s beliefs, attitudes and behavioural practices into health promotion progammes.
Keywords: Under-five mortality, Perception, Attitudes and “Ogba-nje”.
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