June 26, 2014 – The Lagos State Government has presented certificates to 120 newly trained Traditional Birth Attendants(TBAs) warning them to be mindful of their limitation in the practice.
Speaking at the occasion,, Special Adviser to the State Governor on Public Health, Dr. Yewande Adeshina warned the graduates that the certificate dose not make them equal to medical doctors.
She further warned them not to attempt issues that require expert medical attention, stressing that they must distant themselves from requesting members of the public to donate blood since their training does not include such practice.
She debunked the general belief that most deaths that occur during birth come from traditional birth attendants, adding that the attendants are now better trained and are closely monitored by officials of the Ministry of Health.
The Chairman of the Traditional Medicine Board, Dr. Bunmi Omoseyindemi said that though the World Health Organisation (WHO) meant well in its recommendation to scrap traditional birth attendants, such decision, may not be in tandem with the peculiarity of the Nigerian society hence the determination of the state government to keep on training the practitioners in international best acceptable ways.
“In most developing nations such as ours, most births take place in the homes, hence the need for safe motherhood and family planning programmes which should be aimed at promoting health and preventing illness for the mother, unborn baby, newborn and the subsequent children”, he stressed.
He said that result of findings from past training programmes put in place by the State Government has shown that birth attendants are not only performing optimally now as a result of the training but are also encouraged to refer cases of pregnant patients at risk to Health Centres and General Hospitals without fear of rejection because of the harmonious relationship and the platform already established by the State Government between the duo.
He said the training is another strategy put in place by the state government to achieve the Millenium Developmental Goal (MDG) 4 and 5 by reducing child (under five) mortality and improving maternal health.
The Guest Lecturers at the event, Prof. Oshitelu, former Chairman of National Expert Committee for Research and Development in Natural Medicine and Prof. Yinka Abosede, Consultant, Institute of Child Health and Primary Health, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, said that the training by the State Government will go a long way in reducing incidences of Hemorrhages, obstructed labour, infection at birth, unsafe abortion and several other child mortality related incidences characterized by quack TBAs in the past.
He reminded participants of the importance of proper dressing of the umbilical cord, adequate breastfeeding immediately after birth and exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, appropriate weaning, growth mentoring, immunization of children and curbing incessant death among new born.