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Safe births in Liberia boosted by training

Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) in Liberia demonstrate their newly acquired child birth delivery skills in a role play exercise.Photo courtesy of Plan staff.
Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) in Liberia demonstrate their newly acquired child birth delivery skills in a role play exercise.

Photo courtesy of Plan staff.
April 14, 2010

A Plan project to train and support traditional birth attendants in Liberia is giving women in remote rural areas access to safe maternal health care services for the first time.

In 2007, a report by the United Nations support team in Lofa showed that there were just 53 health facilities in the county for an estimated population of 416,173. The majority of these health centers are in the more accessible districts of Voinjama, Zorzor and Salayea, while Vahun, Kolahun and Foya are harder to access due to poor road conditions.

As a result, many women in the outlying remote villages have no access to adequate maternal health care services. Babies are usually delivered by traditional birth attendants who lack training, appropriate facilities and equipment.

To address this situation, Plan Liberia is providing training in improved birth delivery for traditional birth attendants (TBAs), and supplying them with improved birth delivery kits, birth delivery facilities in communities, and support referral facilities in clinics.

Safe techniques

Tewah Fallah, aged 34, is one of the birth attendants benefiting from the program. She delivers all of the babies in Milimala, a rural community in northwest Lofa, and the feeder villages. She is now head of the trainees after performing very well in training sessions.

“The training has exposed me to a lot of safe delivery techniques, referral guides and other methods of preventing child and maternal deaths during birth. With this training and support, our children and mothers will no longer die during birth delivery.

“I am very thankful to Plan Liberia and the people who give the money for this project for me and my friends to be trained and pray that Plan Liberia will continue to do the same for other communities that are very far away from the health centre in Foya town,’’ she said.

Learn more about Plan's work in Liberia.