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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 177-181

Sociodemographic characteristics and handling of life-threatening obstetric cases by traditional birth attendants in Cross River State, Nigeria


Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
C I Emechebe
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar, Cross River State
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/TJOG.TJOG_42_17

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Background: Majority of pregnant women, especially in remote rural areas still desire to be delivered by traditional birth attendants (TBAs) who neither have the skills nor the equipment to treat life-threatening complications. Objective: To determine the sociodemographic characteristics of TBAs and how they manage life-threatening obstetric cases. Methodology: This was a prospective study carried out over a 3-month period during the training of TBAs in the state on the reduction of maternal mortality. A total of 540 TBAs from 18 Local Government Area of the state participated in the study. Data obtained were sex, age, levels of education, number of deliveries conducted per month, difficult cases encountered, and how they managed them. The data were analyzed using Epi Info version-7 and presented in tables. Results: TBAs are mostly females, i.e. 538 (99.6%) and only 2 (0.4%) were males. Majority of the TBAs were above the age of 55 years, i.e. 488 (88.9%); had primary education 416 (77.0%); married 396 (71.6%); and grand multiparous 293 (54.3%). Most TBAs deliver 4 newborn monthly, i.e. 148 (22.6%), and the mean number of newborn delivered monthly was 3.9. Concerning the mode of handling of the difficult cases, majority, i.e. 338 (62.6%) have a nurse/midwife they always call for assistance while only 147 (27.2%) refer their life-threatening cases directly to the nearby hospital. Conclusion: TBAs still plays a role in deliveries in most rural and urban areas. Majority of TBAs do not refer their life-threatening cases directly to the nearby hospital. Therefore, TBAs should be trained on how to identify life-threatening cases and promptly refer to hospitals for better outcome.


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