A pregant mother is escorted by RHU Volunteer to receive ANC support at a RHU medical camp in 2013

Traditional Maternal deliveries were outlawed by government in 2010 to improve on the quality of maternal health services and ensure that All pregnant women seek facility based care during and after pregnancy however recent statistics show that at the least 416,000 women annually are still not assisted by a skilled birth attendant. (Ministry of Health’s Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health Sharpened Plan for Uganda 2016-20). Such approaches and counter-approaches could be the reason why we are crippling with a high maternal mortality rate of 343 per 100,000 live births.

Culture continues to play a significant role in our way of life and can be used to change face of many challenges faced as Africans. Aboriginal maternal Deliveries have existed in the world for centuries and it might be decades before it is rid of the people in fact, in Asia, traditional medicine is highly acquired by locals especially during pregnancies and used as a counter measure (done alongside professional antenatal services) for care and support for safe delivery at the health facilities. It is evident that aboriginal mothers and babies continue to have poorer outcomes than non-Aboriginal mothers and babies which validates the measure to outlaw Traditonal Birth Attendants who could instead be assisted and guided on which care to provide and that to refer to a health facility.

Aboriginal care providers cannot handle hemorrhaging in women, which contributes to 42% of maternal deaths and is the leading cause of death in maternal mortality in the country. The Elimination of TBAs (Who continue to operate) limits support for women who could be refered to health facilities by someone they respect (majority of Aboriginal birth attendants are respected elders or members of their communities) but also creates unmonitored support services to women and their unborn babies, something that is relatively dangerous. This limits the newborn from aggressive clinical check ups and monitoring and a comprehensive registration of birth system at the right time.

TBAs could be re-initiated and supported through training to monitor and work with VHTs to support pregnant women to access clinical care and support. Their roles are very significant in communities they dwell and are relevant to women and their unborn babies thus we need to openly involve them in systematic approaches that enhance the lives of communities that seek their services.

Find out More

See RHU’s Information on Aboriginal Services in Uganda

Pregnancy And Smoking See our Pregnancy And Smoking Page

Cjeck out our information on Breastfeeding