Perception Of Obstetrics And Gynaecology Resident Doctors Of Traditional Birth Attendants’ Practices

  • PN Ebeigbe


Background: Nigeria has one of the highest maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality rates in the world and the practice of traditional birth assistants (TBAs) is a major contributory factor.
Objective: To assess the perception of traditional birth attendants’ practices by resident Nigerian obstetriciangynaecologists.
Materials and methods: A cross-sectional survey of Nigerian resident obstetrician-gynaecologists using selfadministered questionnaires.
Results: Majority of the study population (63.1%) knew at least one traditional birth attendant. The vast majority of the residents (70.2%) felt that the practices of traditional birth attendants were mainly prevalent in the rural areas. Thirty five point seven percent suggested that more than half of the Nigerian obstetric population patronised TBAs while 17.9% felt less than a fifth of the pregnant population patronised them. The vast majority of the residents were convinced that the practices of traditional birth attendants led to increase in maternal morbidity and mortality. The residents were about equally split on whether TBAs should be trained to enhance their practices. Concerning roles for traditional birth attendants, 23.8% suggested they should be empowered to refer patients to hospitals while 21.4% were of the opinion that they should be trained to care for low risk pregnancies.
Conclusion: Most of the resident doctors had good knowledge of the practices of traditional birth attendants in Nigeria and felt their practices were associated with increase in maternal mortality. There was no consensus on roles for traditional birth attendants.

Keywords: resident doctors, traditional birth attendants, knowledge, maternal mortality


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eISSN: 1597-1260