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Safe Arrivals: Responding to the Local Context in a Training Program for Birth Attendants in Cambodia

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Abstract:

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that every woman should have a skilled birth attendant (SBA) attend her birth; however, until this ideal is met, traditional birth attendants (TBA) continue to provide care to women, particularly in rural areas of countries such as Cambodia. The lack of congruence between an ideal and reality has caused difficulty for policy makers and governments. In 2007, The 2h Project, an Australian-based, nongovernment organization in partnership with a local Cambodian organization, “Smile of World,” commenced the “Safe Arrivals” project, providing annual training for SBAs and TBAs in the rural provinces of Cambodia. Following implementation of this project, feedback was collected through a questionnaire undertaken by interviews with participants. This was part of a quality assurance process to further develop training in line with WHO recommendations and to consider the cultural context and respond to local knowledge. Over a 2-year period, 240 birth attendants were interviewed regarding their role and practice. Specifically, through the responses to the questionnaires, several cultural practices were identified that have informed training focus and resource development. More broadly, it was evident that TBAs remain a valuable resource for women, acknowledging their social and cultural role in childbirth.

Keywords: HEALTH PROMOTION; MATERNAL HEALTH; MIDWIFERY; MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1891/2156-5287.4.2.77

Publication date: June 1, 2014

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Childbirth is a peer-reviewed, quarterly journal publishing original research, reviews, and case studies concerned with the practice of midwifery, women's health, prenatal care, and the birth process. The journal encourages the exploration of the complex and contextual issues surrounding childbirth provision and outcomes and invites manuscripts from a wide range of clinical, theoretical, political, methodological, psychological, public health, policy, and multicultural and interdisciplinary perspectives.
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