Healers, nurses, obstetrics-gynaecologists dealing with women in the quest to become pregnant in Southern Mozambique

Keywords:

tinyanga, diagnostic procedure, treatment, kutsamiwa, infertility

E. MARIANO1, M. SAMUCIDINE2, I.B. BOAVENTURA3, C.P. SOUSA4

1Researcher and Lecturer at Faculty of Arts and Social Science – Dept. of Archaeology and Anthropology, at the Eduardo
Mondlane University (UEM), PhD fellow at Catholic University of Leuven (KUL).
2Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, UEM, Maputo Central Hospital, P.O. Box 257, Maputo.
3Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, UEM, Maputo Central Hospital, P.O. Box 257, Maputo.
4Dept. of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine, UEM, P.O. Box 257, Maputo.

Correspondence at: esmeralda.mariano@uem.mz or esmeraldamariano3@gmail.com

Abstract

People’s expectations concerning progeny in southern Mozambique are not solely confined to individual’s life as defined by the temporal dimension of the biological vital cycle. It interlinks with after – death and the relations between the individual and spirits of the ancestors. All members of the community aim at a number of symbolic systems and interweave relations with social expression that create in their interplay a universe where everyone may build his/her identity. To be childlessness is an unfortunate event that can disturb patterns of regularity and continuity with implications for the health and well being of individuals and the community. The traditional healers (tinyanga) in the community have the social task of addressing these felt needs by rendering continuous what is discontinuous, reestablishing the disturbed continuity, and recreating the conditions for recognition. Their assignment in caring for the individual and the community is accomplished through practices emerging from syncretism of customary knowledge and practice and premises from biomedical field. It is a dynamic area of interaction very close to common people and encompassing their understanding and positioning in daily social life with the tinyanga well placed to guide and influence . Therefore, the diagnostic and therapeutic practices of the tinyanga emerge as privileged instances in this investigation . Present paper describes kutsamiwa arising within the frame of failure in generating babies moving through levels of interaction and dialogue between hospital perspective and tinyanga and women’s experiences.