Psychologists have said, a society defines what is normal behaviour for members of the society. In this article, I will be discussing a few societal norms practiced in Nigeria which tend to be harmful to individuals and the society at large.
Increased hunger in releasing unverified ‘celebrity’ news.
We are very good at insinuation and publicising unverified news articles. We often do not have the patience to do some research or wait for the truth to be revealed. People pride themselves in running off with falsehood.
For instance, A man dies…. all the major media outlets announce the cause/mode of death without verifying from the family. Few days later, family members release a new mode of death…
A man’s picture of him looking emaciated suddenly appears on social media…The public starts insinuating a disease condition … neither the man nor his family has come out to clarify if the man is sick or not.
Failure to disclose family medical history
In Nigeria, sickness and disease is always kept hush…even family members do not know their family history of medical conditions…
They fail to understand the link and the need to declare such information to healthcare professionals.
For instance, a Nigerian mother who suffered preeclampsia in the 70’s or 80’s would not tell her daughter of this all-important history.
Her daughter gets pregnant and when the doctor or midwife wants to calculate her pre-eclampsia risk, a false calculation emerges because the young woman is neither aware of this history or is aware but her pastor has told her …”none shall be sick”.
Some pregnant women see delivery by Caesarean section as a curse. They therefore reject CS as an option for safe delivery for mother and child, because of the ‘Hebrew women’ effect. There is belief that if you are close to God, you are entitled to delivering like a ‘Hebrew Woman’ which connotes vaginal delivery. Thousands of women have died in Nigeria, because of this belief. Even at the point of death, they reject a CS delivery to save their life and that of their unborn baby.
‘God hates Divorce’
This particular statement has led to so many deaths caused by domestic abuse. In some quarters, married couples are advised to remain in an abusive relationship even when their life is at risk. A lot of married people have lost their lives through DV and abuse because their religious leader has told them they won’t make heaven if they separate from their abusive spouse.
As society evolves, it’s best for us to review our way of life, asking ourselves some pertinent questions. In this way, we can decipher if we want to continue the way we are or redefine some of our beliefs and attitudes to create a safer environment for us all to thrive in good health.