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Prof. Tiisetso Makatjane I Department of Statistics I National University of Lesotho


Anthropologists are agreed that child-spacing is a practicewhich has been traditionally sanctioned in all known traditionalsocieties. This practice was accompanied by the existence ofcultural norms which regulated it. Among others we can mentionsuch practices as prolonged breast-feeding, as well as postpartumtaboo authorizing sexual abstinence for the mother after eachbirth or sexual abstinence after husband’s death. These practicesdate as far back as before the arrival of the Colonialadministrators and western missionaries, doctors and anthropologists in sub-Saharan Africa (R. Schoenmaeckers et. al.1981:25) .

Much as child-spacing is quite important as an area of study, little is known about it. Current literature shows that postportun taboo to make spacing of children at required intervals possible, as well as its correlates, have been recurrent subjects of study and discussion in the anthropological studies. But such studies are very few due to paucity and nonavailability of adequate data. Notwithstanding the scarcity of data relating to child-spacing in general, it – child-spacing can have an important impact on fertility, child health as well as providing differential demographic behaviour.

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