Impact of Training traditional birth attendants on maternal mortality and morbidity in Sub-Saharan African countries
This paper presents discussion on impact of training traditional birth attendants (TBAs) on overall improvement of reproductive health care with focus on reducing the high rate of maternal and new-born mortality in rural settings in sub-Saharan Africa. The importance of TBAs for years has been denied by professional western trained health practitioners and other scientists until during the late 1980s, when World Health Organization through Safe motherhood 1987 found TBAs have a significant role in reducing maternal and new-born mortality. Trained TBAs in sub-Sahara Africa can have positive impact on reducing maternal and new-born mortality if the programme is well implemented with systematic follow-up after training. This could be done through joint meeting between health workers and TBAs as feed and learning experience from problem encountered in process of providing child delivery services. TBAs can help to break socio-cultural barriers on intervention on reproductive health programmes. However projects targeting TBAs should not be of hit and run; but gradually familiarize with the target group, build trust, transparency, and tolerance, willing to learn and creating a better relationship with them. In this paper, some case studies are described on how trained TBAs can be fully utilized in reducing maternal and new-born mortality rate in rural areas. What is needed is to identify TBAs, map their distribution and train them on basic primary healthcare related to child deliveries and complications which need to be referred to conventional health facilities immediately.