The incredible story of Dove in the Volta Region where women are not allowed to give birth. Once a woman is pregnant and about to deliver, she must leave the village to give birth somewhere else. We follow Patience, who is nine months pregnant and about to leave the village. We also speak to the chief and custodians of this extraordinary tradition. What are the implications for maternal health?
Mafi-Dove is a town in the Mafi Traditional Area of the Central Tongu District in the Volta region of Ghana and is home to about 2,000 residents. It is surrounded by other small towns such as Aloryi and Dokpo and is about 30 minutes drive from Sogakope.
Women are not allowed to give birth in Dove due to a traditional ban on childbirth, and even menstruation. Women have to travel to surrounding areas such as Sogakope, Aloryi, Dokpo, Mafi-Dugame and Avorvoe to have their children and return when they have given birth. Expectant mothers are expected to know their due date and move out of the town in time to have their children. There is no health facility in Dove. One is currently being constructed but it is not being built to cater for expectant mothers but rather for treatment of diseases and ailments and any other medical emergency.