Men and maternal health: The dilemma of shortlived male involvement strategies in Uganda
This article has been written to call for further attention to the importance of involving males in efforts to reduce maternal mortality. Since the 1995 International Conference on Population and Development [ICPD], institutional and community arrangements have been implemented in developing countries to engage males in maternal and child health promotions. The government of Uganda – in partnership with other health promotion institutions such as the United Nations agencies – has in the past decade formulated and implemented national and local strategies for male involvement in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). Nevertheless, strategies are such as Male Action Groups (MAGs) have been short-lived because the strategies within cannot by themselves work without ‘genuine’ acceptance at community levels where implementation takes place. Even acceptance alone is also not enough. Majority of males have more interest in economic than social endeavors. They have less interest to engage in maternal health promotion initiatives. Cultural based perceptions and behaviors associated with patriarchal tendencies remain the greatest challenge. Therefore, relevancy, functionality, adaptability, and sustainability in relation to the effectiveness of male involvement initiatives must be assessed before these interventions are initiated in such culturally diverse communities with different informal institutional arrangements. The individual, interpersonal and institutional contexts in which interventions operate matters. The article identifies relevant stakeholders and suggests, though not discussed in detail, strategies for improving stakeholders’ interests to respond to male involvement as a core issue in maternal health.
Use this URI to cite this item:https://doi.org/10.1080/07399332.2018.1466887