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Teaching Programme for Traditional Birth Attendants in Ghana

Requested by

Akpafu Traditional Birth Attendants Women’s Association (ATBAWA)

Who are you trying to help? What issue are you trying to address?

Akpafu organization is trying to help train practicing but untrained traditional birth attendants in Ghana. The need to train traditional birth attendants stems from the current shortage of professional nurses and midwives in the country and for that matter in the project region. The main goal is to contribute to reduction of infant death and maternal mortality in the project regions.

About 80 percent of births are assisted by traditional birth attendants (TBA) of which ca. 56 percent have no medical equipment or medicine. There are about 20,000 traditional birth attendants in the project region who have not attended a training program but who have gained their knowledge from “learning by doing” and from experienced traditional birth attendants.

The maternal mortality rate is very high with 460 deaths per 100.000 births. The infant mortality rate is also high with 7500 deaths per 100.000 births; this is one of the highest rates worldwide.

What is your project and how will it help?

Although Hohoe municipality is a big geographic area, and the distance from any village to the government hospital by car are not more than an hour, nevertheless reaching hospital becomes almost impossible. The unavailability of vehicular transport services because of bad road network for many villages denies many pregnant women access to health facilities and consequently resulting to pregnancy complications. Majority of the roads linking Hohoe are not motor- able. During raining season the situation is worse. Therefore, motorbikes have become the means of transportation for the villages which laboring women cannot use.

Laboring women normally stopped for hours by the roadsides waiting for transport, made some of them to give birth for their babies at the roadside or later in cars. Thinking of delivery has become a nightmare for pregnant women who live in the villages.

Training and bringing the service to the first level is not enough. People should be aware of the availability of the close to them health services in their communities and neighborhoods, if we aim for maximum benefit and better utilization of the obstetric and family planning and HIV/AIDS services by rural women.

In addition, many couples living in the villages don’t have adequate information regarding family planning services or prevention of- mother-to-child-transmission of HIV/AIDS (PMTCT). This makes people waste time searching and seeking help and consequently resulting to high risk pregnancies and HIV/AIDS.

How can other people partner with you on your project?

Funding organizations and philanthropist who support reproductive health projects are welcome to partner or can partner with us. The partnership will require financial commitment and grants to be able to train the practicing but untrained birth attendants to receive training in basic midwifery and safe motherhood.

Please detail the resources that you need.

1. Income for investment costs:
• Purchase of health KIT boxes for trained midwives
• Purchase of medical supplies (contents) in the Kit box
• Purchase of Oral Re-hydration salts (ORS)
• Purchase of condoms
• Purchase of mosquito bed nets (Permanent Long Lasting Nets)
• Adult weight scales
• Printing of T-shirts to accompany with distribution of mosquito nets
• Purchase and health supplies of First AID Boxes
• Laser Jet Printer

2. Training of new birth attendants:
• Stipends for volunteer motor bike riders to select the participants
• Food and beverages for participants
• Photocopying training manual
• Photocopying birth attendants record books
• Stationery, pen/flat files and paper
• Transport refund for participants
• Facilitators’ fees for the period
• Visit to Municipal Hospital for practical (Hohoe, transportation fees etc)
• Allowance for the cook for (8 days period)
• Printing of certificates

3. Administrative costs:
• Communication costs
• Maintenance of motor bike
• Office stationery
• Water supply
• Electricity bills
• Supervision costs
• Organizational travel costs

4. Wages for Personnel:
• Project Director
• Project Coordinator
• Accounts Officer
• Day & Night Watchman
• Typist/ Project Assistant

An amount of US$136,730 could be used in training 200 practicing but untrained birth attendants in the municipality within 2 years. This will cater for all training workshops, medical supplies Tool Kit Box and paid wages for the personnel all mentioned above.

Further information

Contact details

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Partnership types

Project funding

Regions / countries / territories

Africa: Ghana

Global issues

Gender issues; HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria, health and medical


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