First, it never crossed your mind that you would ever be in this kind of training. Second, the tools you get are things you always desired but never could afford. Third, they treat you with so much respect than you’ve ever got from the ‘educated’ folks in the decades of your practice. You couldn’t but love them and stay open to all they had to say. More so, your satisfaction is full and your joy boundless.
The TBA Support Event
Event Date: 2nd to 4th, April 2020
Venue: Enugu, Nigeria.
The above is the testimony and internal dialogue of almost every other traditional birth attendant (TBA) who participated in the TBA Support Program of the GEANCO Foundation. The program which was a community health intervention program (CHIP) was held in Enugu on Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th April, 2020. The CHIP gathered 15 traditional birth attendants for two days. COVID19 precautionary measures, antiseptic birth attendance techniques, referral indicators and maternal nutrition were the topics covered.
The Traditional Birth Attendant (TBA)
TBAs are women who have the skill of attending to child deliveries. They belong to the African traditional health care system. They hold the ancient body of knowledge for maternity, child birth and infant care. They are bound by both duty and love for man to carry out their function of ensuring the perpetuation of the society to which they belong.
In the old African society, these birth attendants were loved and revered. It was an honor to be in this special group. Fast forward, to the advent of orthodox – and ‘western’ medicine, the birth attendants lost their place gradually. Today, only a few segment of the society – most of them, the rural poor – go to the birth attendants. To the rest of the modern Africa, the TBAs are only a vestige of what used to be. But to some of the little schooled and poor rural people, the TBAs remain their only (or preferred) child delivery ‘facility’.
“We never dreamed about this” – the trained TBAs
The single strand that cut across the testimonies of the TBAs was that they never saw the training coming. They could never have predicted that this will happen. The content, the context, the approach, and other elements of the program were all new developments for them. They have never had that! The overall effect was a feeling of deep appreciation and encouragement. For once, it was clear to them, that their duty to the group they serve is seen and appreciated.
“We are deeply satisfied” – the execution team
For the planners and organizers of the program, it was a fulfilling project. The thrill of getting a project which was some months back simply an idea is satisfying. Yes, lots of energy and time was spent. But now the program is done, the pains and inconveniences are no longer remembered. All that is left is to bath in the joy of achievement and to the thrill of the excitement written on the faces of the participants.
You Made This Happen
We are hopeful that just as the beneficiaries and field workers are satisfied, you our esteemed donor find great satisfaction in knowing that your money has added value to lives. Thank you for always listening to us.