Format: MS WORD |  Chapter: 1-5 |  Pages: 65-80


Save the children initiative (2014), estimated general infant mortality rate to be 100 deaths per 1,000 live births for the 2011-2014 period (NPC, 2014). Regionally, south east, south west, north east and northwest have infant mortality rates of 74, 81, 129 and 139 deaths per 1,000 live births respectively. Indicating the highest concentration in the North West (NPC, 2014).This research examines if there is any relationship between some cultural practices and infant death in Wamakko Local Government Area. The town consists of 11 wards, in which six wards were selected out of the 11 wards. 100 women respondents were drawn on the basis of availability. The target populations were married women who must have given birth at least once. The unit of analysis is married women. The research’s critical variables are maternal rights, decision making, traditional circumcision and awareness. The type of data sought is quantitative (questionnaire). Simple percentage and chi-square in SPSS 20.1 version were used to test the hypothesis. Findings revealed that there is relationship between the levels of traditional circumcisions carried out by traditional experts and the higher level of infant mortality. And also, there is relationship between higher mother’s participation in decision making and the lower level of infant mortality in Wamakko. The research recommends that there should be proper awareness of the negative impact of some of these cultural practices on infant mortality should be created. The restrictions of maternal right should be reviewed and the female should be allowed more opportunity in decision making within the home.




Infants and child mortality rate is an accepted global indicator of the health and socioeconomic status of a given population (WHO; 1981, 1990). Despite the arguments that the determinants of infant and child mortality were extensively investigated and that there was a continued decrease in mortality rates among children and infants in most of the developing world, these reductions are not impressive when compared to other developed countries like Japan, France, Spain and United States. In Nigeria, factors such as economic and political policies had been associated with infant mortality, but some researchers explained that, most of the reasons for the death of infants are deeply rooted in people’s beliefs and attitudes concerning child care and behavioural practices in relation to health strategies (Save the Children, 2014).

The perceptions and attitudes of people influence the way they perceive and react to health related issues, as such any health development initiative that does not take into Account cultural issues might prove ineffective in view of this, the present study is designed to find out the relationship between cultural practices and infant mortality in Wammako community Sokoto State. Statistic from the save the children organization, an international non-profit group, has revealed that almost 800,000 Nigerian children die every year before their fifth birthday, making Nigeria the country with the highest number of new born death’s in Africa (Save the Children, 2014). The group said majority of deaths under the age of five particularly in the Northern part of the country are due to treatable and preventable diseases.

The rate of infant mortality (probability of dying before the first year of life), varies globally, for instance, in 2012 some of the developed countries like Japan, France, Spain and United states had an infant mortality rate of 2,4,4 and 6 death per 1,000 live births respectively (World Population Data Sheet, 2012). In 2013, Japan France, Spain and United states, infant mortality rate declined to 1.3, 3.7, 3.8 and 5.5 respectively (world development indicators, 2013). In 2014, Japan France, Spain and United states, Infant mortality rate also declined to 1.6, 2.4, 3.6 and 5.3 respectively (World development indicators, 2014) But huge disparities exist within ethnic and racial groups in some of these countries.

In 2012, less developed countries like Benin, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa had an infant mortality rate of 62, 52, 82, and 35 deaths per 1,000 live births respectively (World development indicators, 2012). In 2013 Benin, Kenya and Nigeria’s Infant mortality rate declined to 60, 50, and 79 deaths per 1,000 live births respectively (World population data sheets, 2013). In 2014, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa still retained their infant mortality levels, only Benin declined to 56 deaths per 1,000 live births(World Population Data Sheet, 2014).