Social Constructs, Beliefs and Cultural Practices in Fulani Transhumance Populations and the Interface with Institutional Deliveries in Nigeria

  • Jerome Aondona Shaguy

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The problem of maternal morbidity and mortality remains a major public health concern in most developing countries. In Nigeria, the problem has been the focus of multiple national health strategies and by extension targeted and purposeful interventions. Nigeria’s governments since the year 2000, have redoubled efforts and resources into reducing mortality by 75% under the Millennium Development Goals program 2000-15. More recently the sustainable development goals (SDG) program has set a minimum target of MMR <70/100000 by 2030. Nigeria did not achieve the Millennium Development Goals targets. Some progress was made, but not enough to reach the targets.
Nigeria has a disparate socio-cultural landscape, with the Northern part of country consistently returning poor social indices. Northern Nigeria has many poor and vulnerable communities that are seemingly invisible to program intervention. Whilst programs have committed high levels of effort to reach vulnerable populations, output and outcome is usually sub-optimal. This study has been undertaken to take a close look at one of such vulnerable populations.
Specifically, the aim is to look at the Fulani Transhumance who form a large block of nomadic and vulnerable population. A large tribe, the Fulani Transhumance population is estimated at 15,000,000 (IRIN, 2010) and dominate the Sahel Region (were Northern Nigeria also lies). The Fulani are a good case study in how demand or lack of it, may affect health indicators. This study goes into the interface of cultural practices, belief systems and their allied social gradients may shape choice and by extension health seeking behavior with particular reference to institutional deliveries.
Not enough is known about this group, this study has conducted a broad literature and knowledge search to ascertain this fact. Available secondary data can be used in some case as proxy insight. However, that is clearly not enough to make a robust case for were intervention gaps can be closed and by so doing maternal health intervention optimized.
This study itemizes actual narratives concerning Fulani Transhumance socialization and make conclusions about how this socialization connects to choice, further connecting to actions and ultimately shapes outcomes in maternal morbidity and mortality.
Date of Award6 Nov 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Portsmouth
SupervisorSasee Pallikadavath (Supervisor) & Isobel Helen Ryder (Supervisor)

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