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Local and institutional interpretations of IUDs in Southwestern Nigeria

Publication Abstract

Renne, Elisha. 1997. "Local and institutional interpretations of IUDs in Southwestern Nigeria." Social Science & Medicine, Vol44(8): 1141-1148.

Ideas about fertility and the appropriate manner of its control are reflected in interpretations of Western contraceptives. This paper examines views of one contraceptive—the intrauterine device (IUD), variously regarded by government health workers and family planning personnel and by Ekiti Yoruba women residing in one village in southwestern Nigeria. Their ideas about the IUD reflect particular views of the body, infertility, and human agency, with their attendant moral connotations. These views are evidenced in debates among family planning practitioners about how the IUD works and in the ambivalent regard of some village women for whom its use connotes infertility. This local disinterest in the IUD also reflects a general distrust of government programs and intentions which recent funding cutbacks in medical services have reinforced.

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