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Focus Group and Health Teaching With Traditional Birth Attendants in Njeru, Uganda

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The Safe Motherhood Initiative identifies the presence of skilled birth attendants at delivery as the single most critical intervention for safe motherhood. This article reports the findings from a focus group with traditional birth attendants (TBAs) conducted at the request of the Namwezi Health Center and the Njeru town council in Uganda as part of a community needs assessment. The purposes of the focus group included the identification of the problems encountered by the TBAs during antenatal, birth, and postpartum care for mother and newborn and how these problems were managed to assess the educational needs of the TBAs and plan for appropriate education and skills training for them. With a high prevalence of HIV, malaria, neonatal tetanus, and maternal morbidity and mortality in this region, TBAs were in need of education to promote hygiene, including hand washing, handling of bodily fluids, and disposal of the placenta; instruction on cord cutting, tying, and care; malaria prevention in pregnancy; and the management of common complications of childbirth and the newborn. “Too much bleeding” was identified as the primary maternal complication, and bleeding from the umbilical cord and preterm delivery were identified as the most common baby problems. Complication narratives from the TBAs indicated a need for continued training in the management of the common complications of childbirth and the neonatal period to improve maternal and newborn survival.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2012

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