Monday, July 30, 2007

Swazi 'cultural competency' pop quiz (Question 4 and 5 of 10)

Answers to the following coming soon. See also patient encounters and other 'cultural competency' questions below.

#4: Which of the following is NOT true regarding pregnancy in Swaziland?

(a) Traditional custom encourages the father to avoid association with the pregnant mother until the child is one month of age.

(b) Approximately 40% of pregnant Swazi’s are HIV+, and up to 40% of those will transmit the virus to the baby.

(c) The pregnant woman, in traditional culture, would sleep with the children in a separate building, while the father, if at the homestead, would sleep by himself in the marital bed/house.

(d) The pregnant woman, if HIV positive, is very unlikely to receive any medicines to help her prevent transmitting the virus to her newborn (12% coverage according to some estimates).

(e) According to UNICEF statistics, 74% of deliveries in Swaziland will have skilled birth attendants present.

A forest fire near Mbabane. (

#5: This is the fire season here in Swaziland. Thick smoke fills the air and ground/grass/forest fires abound wherever you go. It is quite a phenomenon. Swazi’s have preserved this traditional practice for all of the following reasons EXCEPT:

(a) It is believed to be good for preparing the soil for planting when the rains come around September.

(b) It is easier and cheaper than cutting the grass.

(c) Charring the ground allows the cows to graze earlier on green pastures.

(d) Calculatedly lighting and carefully controlling fires on a calm day helps prevent more dangerous fires when the windy season begins.

(e) "Rage."



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