Background: Maternal mortality is one of the major health problems confronting Nigeria and other resource-poor countries
Objective: This study aimed to examine principally whether and how socio-cultural factors affect maternal mortality in Nigeria.
Methods: A comprehensive literature search was conducted on two electronic databases: Scopus and Pro Quest Health and Medical Complete.
Results: Available evidence indicated that there were many non-biomedical factors that predispose pregnant women to a higher risk of maternal mortality. Socio-culturally, harmful traditional beliefs and practices; early marriage, high parity and female illiteracy contribute to the high burden of maternal deaths in Nigeria.
Conclusion: Maternal mortality reduction needs action beyond prevention and treatment of biomedical causes; it needs the modification of the socio-cultural contexts that contribute to high maternal mortality in Nigeria. They are difficult to change but indispensable to maternal health. Hence, high maternal death must be addressed within the socio-cultural context of different Nigerian regions.
maternal mortality, Nigeria, socio-cultural factors, Africa, maternal death, socio-cultural practices/beliefs.