Researcher spells out role of traditional birth attendants

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LAGOS – A gynaecologist, Dr Oliver Ezechi, said on Friday in Lagos that the role of Birth Attendants (TBAs) should be community liaison officers in the healthcare delivery.

Ezechi, a medical researcher with Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Yaba, told  the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) the TBAs should cease from taking delivery of  babies.

“Most of the deaths among pregnant women are caused by three things bleeding, infection and hypertension in pregnancy. The TBAs cannot manage any of them.

“If a woman is bleeding, what is TBA going to do?

“In some situation you might even operate on the woman to remove the womb to stop the bleeding, if you cannot control it with the use of drugs, the TBAs are equipped to do it.

“The next thing is infection, you need to know the type of infection and you need antibiotics, TBAs are equipped to do these things.

“The next one is hypertension in pregnancy; they don’t even know how to measure blood pressure.

“So, when say let TBAs manage, they are equipped and they cannot manage any of them.

“And it’s something you will somebody in a class programme; it three years to train a midwife, after secondary education, while university six years, it takes another six years to train a gynaecologist.

“Is that what they are going to the TBAs under how many days?”

He said that allowing the TBAs to attend to pregnant women “is practically endorsing unskilled personnel to attend to pregnant women and this can increase maternal and infant mortality rates”. (NAN)