Citation: Nawa Raj Subba. Traditional Practices on Mother and Child Health Care in Rajbanshi Community of Nepal. American Journal of Health Research. Vol. 3, No. 5, 2015, pp. 310-317. doi: 10.11648/j.ajhr.20150305.18,
Correspondence: Nawa Raj Subba. Email address: [email protected]
This is a qualitative study on traditional health care of mother and child in Rajbanshi community in Nepal. The aim of the study was to explore traditional maternal and child health care and to uncover harmful practices. Methods in this descriptive study employed in-depth interviews and FGDs with traditional birth attendants, traditional healers, female community health volunteers, health workers, and mothers. Tools were semi-structured questionnaire and checklists. The study sample included 60 from Morang, Jhapa, and Sunsari districts. Of them, 30 were from traditional healers, traditional birth attendants (TBA), and female community health volunteers (FCHV) and health workers another 30 were mothers included for three FGDs conducted in 2013. Findings show Rajbanshi culture has native care of mother and child health. Guru Gosai, Gosai, Ojha, and Dhami are traditional healers in the community. Guru Gosaiis also essential to conduct birth, marriage and death rituals. The traditional causes of diseases are deities, witchcraft, evil spirits, a touch of pithiya/chhatka, and poor sanitation. Traditional healers find the cause through a jokhana. They treat patients by chanting a mantra, jharphuk, jadibuti, buti, and ferani. TBAs and health workers conduct home delivery however trend of hospital delivery increased. The study figured out a mark of a stigma where women pithiya or chhatka are suspected as the cause of disease and illness in others. Community people perceive them unholy and unfriendly. Thus, pithiya and chhatka women face unfair treatment. They are vulnerable to maternal and child health. On the other, the traditional practice of cutting the umbilical cord by a barber during a delivery and shaving off newborn’s head after a delivery by the barber are harmful practices.
Keywords: Traditional Practice, Maternal Child Care, Stigma, Harmful Practices, Rajbanshi Nepal.