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Pregnant women who deliver at TBAs risk infection, physician warns

 A public health physician, Dr. Dumebi Owa, warns pregnant women against patronising Traditional Birth Attendants, revealing that delivery in such places exposes them to risk of infection.

According to the physician, most TBAs not only lack knowledge of delivery, but operate in unhygienic environment that predisposes their clients to infection during and after delivery.

Owa gave the warning during an exclusive interview with PUNCH HealthWise on Monday, advising expectant mothers to always visit hospitals where there are trained medical personnel for their healthcare needs whether the pregnancy is complicated or normal.

The physician, who was a former President, Medical Women Association of Nigeria, Lagos State branch, expressed concerns about activities of some TBAs in the country, lamenting that many of them are not regulated.

She said, “In this part of the world, we have a lot of things that are not right that are contributing to infant and maternal mortality. People having babies at home, churches, TBAs and all sorts of places.

“But the issue is that, pregnant women should visit medical personnel who are properly trained for their situation whether the pregnancy is normal or complicated by going to the hospitals and not TBAs.

“In some of these TBAs, their environments are bad and unhygienic. In fact, they are terrible and sources of infection.

“Expectant mothers should stop patronising them. We want our children and mothers alive because women are the bedrock of the society. We want our children alive because they are the ones that will take over from us.”

Dr. Owa noted, “I don’t advocate that pregnant women should visit TBAs. They are not properly trained to take care of pregnant women.

“The problem is when there are complications and the woman is almost dying, it is then they will refer her to a teaching hospital and give the notion that people always die in teaching hospitals which is very wrong.”

On whether the TBAs are regulated, she said, “Many of them are not regulated by government. Let us not pretend about it.”

She urged the government to urgently check activities of TBAs to reduce the burden of infant and maternal mortality in the country.

The wife of the Lagos State governor, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, had on Friday during the Flag-Off of the 2020 Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week in the state cautioned pregnant women, nursing mothers and teenagers against patronising quacks for their health care needs.

Sanwo-Olu particularly frowned at the rate at which pregnant women patronise quacks who claim to be TBAs for their antenatal and post-natal care needs.

“It is sad to note that a lot of our expectant mothers still patronise quacks who claim to be TBAs while illegally practicing orthodox medicine.

“These quacks do nothing but to add sorrow to our people by killing their newborns, pregnant teenage girls, under five children and even expectant mothers who patronise them for treatment, delivery and illegal termination of pregnancies”, the wife of the governor had said.

Global Maternal Sepsis study published by The Lancet Global Health in 2020 which centred on maternal infections in health facilities, shows that infection has a much larger impact on global maternal mortality and morbidity than previously thought.

The latest global estimates place sepsis due to obstetric infections as the third most common cause of maternal mortality.

According to the study, around 11 women per 1000 live births had an infection which resulted in or contributed to what is known as a severe maternal outcome – either they died or nearly died – during their hospitalisation.

The World Health Organisation says maternal sepsis is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to infection causes injury to its own tissues and organs during pregnancy, child-birth, post-abortion or the postpartum period.

Bibiyobra: Wednesday, 7 October 2020 at 10/07/2020 09:10:00 pm


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