Nigeria’s maternal and infant mortality rates are the highest in Africa and second highest in the world.
As UN statistics reveal, more than two million Nigerian women live in rural areas and 70 per cent of deliveries in Nigeria are performed by Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs). In such a scenario, keeping birth attendants abreast of the best practices is crucial to reduce the alarmingly high mortality rates is pertinent.
To meet this need, Brown Button Foundation (BBF) in an outreach program organized by the US consulate facilitated a one-day refresher training on safe delivery methods for TBAs in Ibeju Lekki LGA on Saturday 21st of October 2017.
Learning New Lessons
About 15 TBAs participated in the training across Ibeju Lekki LGA. The training covered various important topics on safe delivery methods, such as; maintaining a clean birth area, personal hygiene of birth attendants, danger signs during pregnancy, importance of using sterilized equipment’s during childbirth, early referral and so on.
Harmful practices such as the use of herbs in treating convulsion, using hands to check the fetal position in the womb and beating the baby so as to cry were discussed. The explanations provided helped the TBAs understand why these practices are unacceptable.
Setting up the Guidelines for Maternal Health
The TBAs were told not to assist the first birth of any woman. Every woman with her first pregnancy must be referred to a clinic for the birth. If no complications arise, the TBAs can assist the woman with her subsequent childbirths; however, if the first delivery faces complications, then subsequent delivery must be reffered. This will help reduce maternal death from complicated childbirth. The TBAs were also told to ensure early referrals during complications.
The training facilitator demonstrated the use of clean birth kits and the training ended with the distribution of mother’s delivery kits and baby care kits to participants