In the month of August 2017, the Brown Button Foundation team in conjunction with DAK Foundation, set out to Katsina State to train 1000 Community Health Extension Workers (CHEWs) and Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs). The training, which was designed to impart knowledge of safe births and child spacing on the participants, was held across 5 Local Government Areas in Katsina for 3 months.

Katsina state which is located in the North-West of Nigeria has one of the highest maternal mortality rates (1026 deaths per 100,000 live births) and low facility based delivery rate (4.5%) as well as low delivery rates by professionals (5.1%). The existing statistics made it pertinent to train at the Traditional Birth Attendants and Community Health Extension workers who are more highly patronized within the communities.

The training which was facilitated in 3 modules covered topics on family planning methods and commodities, counseling information for women, safe birthing practices and prevention of infections during delivery, postpartum haemorrhage.

The training was executed using key demonstration models, intensive practical sessions and using materials and commodities that helped the participants to effectively internalize all they were taught and replicate in real life situations.

Pre-training, it was discovered that several of the participants lacked basic knowledge on hygiene practices such as hand-washing. Most of them delivered babies using their bare unwashed hands, without the use of gloves. Several said they make use of ropes or rubber bands to clamp the baby’s cord exposing the baby to neonatal tetanus. To stop, postpartum haemorrhage, many said they made use of towels to stop bleeding.

Many lacked knowledge of Family Planning and its benefits and it was established that most women were afraid to use family because of fear of their husbands, fear that they would become sterile, fear that the contraceptives would get missing in their bodies, fear of cancer and several others.

The training was able to address these blunders by providing the women with safe and clean delivery kits to ensure hygienic deliveries and misoprostol to curb PPH. The women were also trained on the proper dosage for the prevention and control of PPH as well as the proper routes of administration of misoprostol. The women were also introduced to different family planning methods and were taught how to counsel their patients correctly to break the long-held myths about family planning.

At the end of the training, over 15,000 delivery kits and thousands of different kinds of Family Planning Commodities were distributed to the participants and to the health centres represented at the training.

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