23 July 2010

Traditional Birth Attendants in Liberia Get Refresher Course

The Traditional Birth Attendants refresher training Workshop at the Camphor Mission Station Clinic was held  June 21-25, 2010. It was organized to provide follow-up training for the TBAs who are conducting most of the deliveries in the catchment area of the George Z. Dean Memorial Clinic.

The workshop brought together 52-participants with prior training from 40-villages plus 8-TBA helpers.
The opening ceremony of the Refresher workshop was attended by the senior staff of the Camphor United Methodist Mission Station and local authorities who expressed their full support for the overall continued conduct of the TBAs program.

The focus of the training was to educate the TBAs on how to prepare their report in order to facilitate a follow-up on whether they are doing well. There was an oral pre-test at the beginning of the course.
The following topics were covered:
Traditional Birth Attendants Basic Information
     Woman and Baby problems
     Preventing problems

Woman Information
     Bleeding too much
     Sickness with pain and fever
     Birth delay
     Swelling and fits
     Too many children/ family planning

Baby Information
      Baby has trouble breathing at birth
      Baby born too small
      Baby is sick

General Health
     Family planning
     Child survival

Before the beginning of the trainings, the TBAs were asked to share their individual perspectives of the program since it began. All recounted the many benefits their communities have enjoyed from the training. It was clearly revealed that the knowledge is helping them address the challenges they meet on a daily basis as community Health Volunteers (CHV). They believe the training is practical because what is being taught is encountered on a daily basis in their respective communities. However, they appealed to the LAC/UMC Health Program to obtain License for them to do legal practice. The TBAs also appealed for increase in the workshop’s stipend. In response to the appeal to raise the stipend given to them during the training, the Training Management said that the workshop is sponsored 100% by the Trinity Church while the Community is not providing any support. As such, they only need to make themselves available for the training in order to prevent maternal and new born death in the catchment area. At the close of the TBAs refresher training, an oral post-test was given.
However, there are still grave challenges that tend to undermine the successes. They include  the lack of safe drinking water, lack of mosquito nets, subsistence farming which does not provide financial income to the villagers,  bad road conditions which can most often delay referral to the health centers and the patronage of black baggers for purchase of drug, especially for pregnant women.

Recommendations from TBAs:
      Increment of stipend to 10USD
      Construction of hand pumps in the villages
      Distribution of mosquito nets in the villages
      Up-grading of outreach program in the catchment area
      Video for TBAs
Monitoring and Evaluation is still ongoing for TBAs in the catchment area every quarter.

Posted by Kathy and Danny Dickriede at 7:22 PM

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