Dove; A town where it is a taboo to menstruate, give birth and bury the dead
It is a taboo for women to give birth to babies or even menstruate in Dove, a town in the Mafi Traditional Area of the Central Tongu District. As such, those expecting their menstruation and pregnant women in labour are by whatever possible means carried out of the town. They only return after delivery and after their menses have stopped.
This revelation was made by Dr Joseph Nuertey, the Volta Regional Medical Superintendent, when he delivered the state of health care in the region during the first general meeting of the Volta Regional House of Chiefs (VRHC) at Ho.
Dr Nuertey lamented that because of the age-long taboo, all efforts by the Ministry of Health (MoH) to establish a health facility to take care of birth and other issues had proven futile. He added that the taboo also forbade the burial of the dead in the town.
The medical superintendent, therefore, appealed to the VRHC to use their good offices to appease the gods in the area to lift the taboo. Dr Nuertey’s revelation left the traditional rulers dumbfounded.
This prompted the Paramount Chief of the Battor Traditional Area, Togbega Patamia Dzekley VII, to say that he would immediately contact the chief and elders of Dove to see what could be done to resolve the issue
In most circumstances, it is the women, who are mostly farmers that nurture the children until maturity. According to the medical superintendent, he has been told that the gods of the town frown on anybody who flouts the taboo.
Dr Nuertey announced that maternal mortality in the region continued to be too high and this he attributed to the inadequate number of medical personnel and facilities in the region.
He regretted that although 70 per cent of medical doctors, including dentists in the country were from the region, only a few of them were willing to accept postings to their home region.
“For instance, none of the 11 doctors and dentists who were posted to the region last year turned up,” he noted. For that matter, the region had only 83 doctors and dentists manning the over 378 health facilities in the region; which is woefully inadequate, he lamented.
He called for a collective efforts of all and appealed to the chiefs to talk to the medical practitioners, as well as other health staff to come back home to take care of their kith and kin.
Story by Ghana/ Daily Graphic