Traditional Birth Attendant (TBA) Program
In the past rusty razors were used to cut umbilical cords. This and other unhygienic practices led to a very high maternal and infant mortality rate. Since 1992 YWAM has trained over 500 TBAs (and currently supports over 280), covering a population of about 110,000. Mothers and babies are now surviving childbirth in record numbers in our province far above the national rate. Despite the isolation and poverty of our province we have reached the governments Millennium Development Goals for maternal and neonatal death rates. Our TBA program has therefore been presented as a model to other provinces the Ministry of Health (MoH). by the The “Bridge of Friendship” program brings in advice and partial funding to supervise the training of Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs)
Previously, traditional untrained birth attendants were typically middle-aged or elderly women who learned with their own mothers how to deliver babies and delivered up to 85% of the babies in Stung Treng Province. We have furthered their training to enable them to
• Provide quality ante-natal care
• Carry out safe, hygienic deliveries if necessary
• Encourage pregnant women to deliver with trained midwives
• Refer ‘at-risk’ women to deliver at the hospital
• Provide post-natal care
We would love to see our TBAs trained as Primary Midwives (to meet the Millennium Development Goal of having trained Midwives attend 95% of deliveries). To accomplish this goal we need more expatriate midwives to work in the Provincial Maternity Department and assist in training TBAs. If you have these skills would you prayerfully consider joining us?
YWAM is giving incentives to TBAs to accompany women to deliver in HCs, and supports ‘waiting houses’ for pregnant women coming from remote villages to come and stay when their delivery is imminent. We currently have two ‘waiting houses’, one at Siempang HC and one at Jomgar Ler HC.
Crisis pregnancy counseling center.
In order to help cut down on maternal mortality and cut down on the high rate of abortions we plan to open a crisis pregnancy counseling center. There is a high rate of abortions here and we believe that pregnancy counseling will provide women with an alternative path to abortion, as well as reduce mortality.