HIV/AIDS: Awareness and Practice Among Traditional Birth Attendants in Rural Nigeria

  • B N Ejikeme
  • O U Umeora
  • J A Obuna
Keywords: awareness, aseptic, delivery, infection, transmission.


Ebonyi State has an HIV prevalence rate of 11.1%. The state has 2.1 million inhabitants, who are mainly rural dwellers where traditional birth attendants play pivotal role in healthcare delivery. This study assesses the awareness of HIV infection and its route of transmission among the traditional birth attendants in Ebonyi State. A hundred and nine traditional birth attendants (TBAs) randomly selected were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire in a cross sectional study that spanned 11 months. Most respondents (88.9%) had no formal education. Only 65.1% have heard of HIV and none had practices directed towards HIV prevention. Aseptic/sterilization procedures were minimal. The level of awareness of the HIV pandemic was low among TBAs. Their practices were sub standard and may encourage the spread of HIV/AIDS among their clients. A strategy considering the unique characteristics and needs of the TBAs is advocated to integrate them into the National Prevention of mother-to-child-transmission (PMTCT) programmes.

Keywords: awareness, aseptic, delivery, infection, transmission.

The Nigerian Medical Practitioner Vol. 51 (1&2) 2007: pp. 6-10

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eISSN: 0189-0964